Saturday, January 19, 2008

Presidential Matching

A friend told me he leaned towards one of the candidates, but wasn't really sure where s/he stood on the issues. So I thought I'd compile a list of on-line quizzes that claim to match your views with the candidates.

My experience is similar to that of the Seattle Times asked four readers to try several of the quizzes and concluded that the "results were all over the map."

Here are some of the quizzes I've found.

USA Today/ABC News Candidate Match Game

Comment: Very technically sophisticated. Gives a bar chart or matrix comparison, not a percentage comparison. Allows user to rate importance of issues. Doesn't seem to have caught Huckabee's shift to a strong anti-immigrant position.

No question about worker's rights or poverty.

Vote Match Quiz Not so high tech, everything on one page.

No workers right question. If you answer question "teach moral values in school" that means you favor official prayer in schools and believe "Judeo-Christian values are American valuea." Says that Ron Paul supports increased federal funding for health care.

Select Smart Presidential Candidate Selector.

This is not done by a big media company, there are annoying ads. Does have a labor question. Allow user to rate issues as more or less important. Last updated August 2007.

Didn't match well with my views.

Minnesota Public Radio

On education and other issues, it gives far too many options. Rates Ron Paul as being opposed to privatization of social security, but then explains "CANDIDATE'S POSITION: According to the Cato Institute, 'Paul contends that Congress must stop spending in order to best fix the problem of insolvency. Paul opposes personal accounts because he believes Social Security is unconstitutional. Instead, he believes that individuals should have total control over how to invest their money and is in favor of cutting payroll taxes to allow this to happen."'

Electoral Compass USA

From a Dutch company. High tech, rates user along economic and social axes.

It does show that the Democratic and Republican contenders are in two distinct clusters.

But there's something deeply flawed about this test. It shows John Edwards to the right of Hillary Clinton and Bill Richardson on the economic axis.It doesn't show Ron Paul--who wants to abolish social security, the Federal Reserve, anti-discrimination legislation--as furthest to the right on economics.

It doesn't ask a question about the right to form a union. It doesn't ask a question about so-called free trade.

Votematch USA

From another Dutch company. Has a question about teacher's unions. Has a question about trade, but it is framed in terms of protecting markets. Let's you rate issues as being of special importance. Gives a one-dimensional graph of how you compare to candidates. Shows the results for everyone who has taken the poll.

Post a Comment