Another Presidential Selection Quiz:

Everyone seemed to enjoy the last Presidential Selector Quiz that I linked, so here's another one from that a reader emailed to me. The good news is that this time my results actually matched with who I actually support and there are no fictional candidates.

The first page is a bit confusing, where they label the issues. So, for instance, the "Gun Control" category actually includes "gun control" and "gun rights" and "Energy and the Environment" asks follow up questions about your position on global warming policies.

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. Another Presidential Selection Quiz:
  2. Presidential Candidate Selector:
Todd, the link you have is wrong.
11.12.2007 5:47pm
Zywicki (mail):
Oops, thanks! It should be fixed now.
11.12.2007 5:50pm
Crunchy Frog:
It picked Duncan Hunter for me, which I suppose is fine except he has virtually no shot. My major peeve is getting the border fence built - it was his bill that got the ball rolling on it.

He'd make a fine running mate for Fred Thompson.
11.12.2007 6:44pm
Sarah (mail) (www):
It doesn't really get a lot of the subtleties on these issues, which is frustrating for me. You'd think it could do better on education, which I gave a lot of "points" to, than asking about NCLB and funding and nothing else.

It seems that all of these tests are picking candidates I really wouldn't ever vote for. It's kind of weird, since in 2004 there was one (which hasn't been updated) which ranked everyone perfectly, and didn't tie Hillary Clinton with both John Edwards and Bill Richardson. Or, for that matter, effectively tie Chris Dodd with Mitt Romney.

Anyway, it says I should vote for Fred Thompson, and failing that, for Ron Paul. Yeah, right.
11.12.2007 7:00pm
Frater Plotter:
Ron Paul, Mike Gravel, Bill Richardson. Runner-ups Kucinich, Obama, Dodd. Lowest matches Giuliani, Hunter, Romney.

I really love how my views give me the libertarian Republican on top of a stack of socialist Democrats, with the fascist mainstream of the Republicans at the bottom of the stack.

I'll happily admit Mike Gravel is my favorite of the Democrats, but if I were registered Democrat I'd vote for Obama in the primaries because he has more chance to beat Clinton ... and Clinton's civil-liberties views are almost as bad as Giuliani's.

I fear, fear, fear a Clinton vs. Giuliani race. If it were Clinton vs. Romney I'd wince and vote Romney because I think he'd lead a weaker administration (and thus have less power to implement bad policies).
11.12.2007 7:18pm
Tony Tutins (mail):
I don't think the program ranks the factors they way I did. Mike Gravel was my number 1, but he was a misfit to my priority issues. I might have to give Richardson a look. My best Republican is again, Ron Paul, followed by Huckabee. Thompson is actually my worst fit according to these people.
11.12.2007 7:29pm
Pon Raul:
In order:
Ron Paul: 80%
Fred Thompson: 64%
Tom Tancredo: 64%

I guess that I am going to have to vote for Ron Paul.
11.12.2007 7:39pm
The coding for where a candidate lies on the spectrum seems a bit arbitrary. Whether a candidate supported or opposed a policy, of course, is easy to code for. But it's not clear why certain candidates were labeled as being really, really against something whereas somebody else with similar credentials was labeled as only being really against that same policy. This arbitrary coding seems particularly acute when you look at the death penalty issue.

I suspect Paul does artificially well on these polling because these things never have some of his more radical positions that I suspect most people would oppose. The same for Kucinich. I think they're both sorta out there, but the media never scrutinizes their more radical positions because they're fringe candidates.
11.12.2007 8:14pm
Thoughtful (mail):
You know, Paul (the "fringe" candidate) has some amazing credentials. For one, he's been elected to Congress 3 times as a non-incumbent, which I suspect is a record, and indicates strong voter approval by those who know him best.

In addition, while other Republican candidates claim they oppose abortion, Paul is actually an obstetrician who has, detrimental to his income stream, chosen never to perform an abortion; OTOH, unlike these other Republican "believers in federalism", Paul opposes an anti-abortion amendment, preferring to have the issue handled on the state level.

All in all, whether you agree with him or not, his positions are thought out in more detail than any other Republican candidate. "Because he was mayor during 9/11" is not a good reason to be a front-runner for President, but that's how people make picks these days. Bryan Caplan is right.
11.12.2007 8:32pm
Hunter the Huckelbee. I'm for Thompson.
11.12.2007 9:02pm
Just Dropping By (mail):
Top: Paul, Gravel, Richardson
Bottom: Giuliani, Huckabee, Biden
11.12.2007 9:11pm
Nate F (www):
My top three are Dodd, Obama, Richardson. Which isn't that far off, though I'd probably invert the order.
11.12.2007 10:10pm
Zywicki (mail):
There are some glitches in this one. For instance, because Ron Paul is against Social Security, he is also against privatizing Social Security because he doesn't want the government getting tangled up with the stock market. So that if you support partial privatization of Social Security it says that you hold the complete opposite position from Ron Paul!
11.12.2007 10:13pm
Hmm... It's interesting what tweaking the values you assign to the different topics can do to the order. I've gone through with 4 distributions of points, and while my #1 and #2 have remained constant throughout (Kucinich, who hit 100% one time, then Gravel), everything else has been bouncing around like crazy. I've had three different people as my #3, I've seen Ron Paul jump everywhere from 4th to 4th from the bottom, Fred Thompson and Mitt Romney keep swapping places with each other... So, I like it.

I do think it's annoying that "Temporary Guest Worker Program" support is asked if you put 2 points into immigration, though, since there's several reasons for opposing it, and they come from different starting points philosophically/ideologically.

But fun quiz... I'm trying to see if I can find a "weight combo" that gets anybody else a 100%.
11.12.2007 10:43pm
Curt Fischer:
Apparently I am like Frater Plotter: Ron Paul was #1 on my list at 75%, but #2 was Obama at 67%.

It's a neat quiz though. On a related note, I saw my first television ad of the Presidential race today (and it was for Paul). I wish all ads had such disarmingly low production values.
11.13.2007 12:24am

I thought there were no fictional characters in this one.
11.13.2007 12:48am
Mike Gravel for me. I suppose that may be right -- if I bothered to research his views. I haven't, because he's not a viable candidate (echoing the the "no fictional characters?!" comments above).

That's the one great failing of this quiz: it does not account for voters' pragmatism. I think that most Democratic candidates are too timid, for example, on gay rights. But I'll take their equivocation over Gravel's full-throated, principled, hopeless support any day. Politics is the art of the possible. (Especially easy to say on this issue, since time is on my side; the gay bashers are fighting their Battle of the Bulge). There are limits to pragmatism's appeal, of course. It'd be a cold day in hell before I'd give Hillary my primary vote. But Obama or Edwards will do quite nicely, thanks.
11.13.2007 9:08am
Jeff Lebowski (mail):
I ran through it 6 times with different weights on various issues. Ended up with Hunter, Tancredo, and Huckabee as the consistent top 3. Hunter had the highest percentage in one of those at 83%. Lowest was Kucinich, 28%. The candidates with a snowball's chance of getting nominated (Giuliani, McCain, Romney, Clinton, Obama, Edwards) scored from 45-68% on average.

I'm still undecided on who I will support. Considering I live in Indiana and our primary is not until May, the issue will be long decided before it gets here. The nominations will be wrapped up before Hoosiers get to case their primary ballots, so it doesn't really matter what I think.

(Insert your own punch line here.....)
11.13.2007 11:08am
Curt Fischer:

That's the one great failing of this quiz: it does not account for voters' pragmatism.

I have no doubt that "but could they actually win?" pragmatism, guides many voters' decisions, but the problem is that this logic is tautological. How, and at what point in a campaign, will you objectively decide that a candidate is "viable"?

I hope somebody develops the "viability quiz", a quiz which would have no questions about what you actually thought, but would just list the candidates, their views on the issues, public polling numbers on the issues, and who matched the best. Then you could know who to vote for: the most popular! Because after all, they are the most viable!
11.13.2007 2:09pm
LM (mail):
I'm pretty impressed how well both tests discerning my preferences. I'd have expected my support for the surge and opposition to strict timetables for withdrawal from Iraq to obscure my preference for Obama. But the first test nailed it, with Obama as my top (non-fictional) choice, and the second test had Obama one point behind Chris Dodd, whom I support less than Obama strictly on intangible grounds, e.g., leadership, charisma.
11.13.2007 2:12pm