Wednesday, August 29, 2007

What's Your Score?

I found this interesting site that gives you a score of your personal political view and then rates candidates against your responses. It is important to click on the question for some of them since it opens a separate page that helps to explain how the answers are scored. Here is the link

When you finish the questions you can change category (e.g. unannounced/withdrawn candidates, senators, etc.) and hit "score the quiz" again and the other lists will come up without having to take the quiz again.

You can also look at where you rank on a 4-sided array: left-liberal, libertarian, populist, right-conservative (and the middle section of moderate). There is a link that opens a page explaining the scale with a nice chart. By way of a brief explanation, a perfect hard-core liberal score would be 100% personal and 0% economic (see the site for explanation of the categories). Hard-core conservative would be the exact opposite 0% personal, 100% economic. Libertarian is 0/0 and populist is 100/100. Get the picture?

It came as no surprise to me that I was nearly "off the chart." The only thing that kept me from a perfect hard-core liberal score was my soft position on choice. I scored a 98/0. Apparently my support of "fair trade" over anti-globalization (which is also the position for "buy American") didn't affect the economic score. Granted, some of the issues are too complicated to fit neatly into this model leaving no room for nuance. For instance, I was unable to find a comfortable position on UN troops in Iraq being conflicted between my pacifist and multi-lateral views.

I was a bit surprised for by the way my views aligned with the candidates'. Kucinich topped my list with 90% agreement. I was then surprised by the second choice being Dodd at 75%. The next three in order were Clinton (73%), Obama (68%) and Edwards (63%). Of course, beyond the issues there are personal characteristics, assessment of an individual's ability to lead and inspire, integrity, believability, etc. that factor into a final decision. Not to mention that me as a registered member of the Green Party I won't be involved in choosing any of these candidates in the primaries (and I didn't have the option of testing my views against a Green, but it would clearly be equal to or greater than Kucinich).

The drop in percentage between the most conservative Democrat and the most liberal Republican was about 25% for me. On social issues, there were 4 Republicans whose match with my views was 0%, an absolute disagreement on all issues! They were Romney, Tancredo, Hunter and Gilmore. Brownback was my only 0% on the economic scale. He and Hunter were tied at 3% overall as my worst matches. I also checked my top ten best and worst matches of incumbent senators. Barbara Boxer topped my list and there were a full 8 Republican senators who got zeroes from me.

Among unannounced candidates no one would beat Kucinich, but Al Sharpton at 80% would move into second. And for today's quiz try naming the one unannounced potential candidates who would be an absolute 0 on my scale.


sojourner said...

Yes, this is a very interesting site; I, too, was surprised at the candidates to which I was matched. Thanks for the link!

mkz said...

Neat site Ian, While Fred Thompson was only 3rd on compatibility with my social and economic views at about 70%, and in other areas I fell into the mid-50's ( I believe as you stated because it was not always easy to find a suitable middle ground on some questions), Newt Gingrich was my second and another undeclared I was unaware of was first.
Fun exorcise, but I will still vote for Fred even if Newt jumps is. I have been reading his campaign membership letters and interviews over the past few months, and find his no nonsense approach to issues I as a conservative and a Christian am concerned with,without stroking the religious right refreshing. I also like the fact he has been given the label 'lazy'. Give a difficult job to a lazy man and he will find a more efficient way to do it.
I wonder how Mr. Thompson would have handled the response to Katrina, other than lynching 'Brownie' for his utter incompetence.