Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Presidential Candidate Compatibility (a/k/a “InDecision 2008”)

The Internet is a wonderful thing. As we are now just under one year away from the 2008 Presidential election, I’ve noticed several online quizzes aimed at helping determine which candidates’ positions on various issues match one’s own views.

After a little sifting through Google, I found dozens of such polls and took ten of them. The results? A head scratcher.

InDecision 2008


My ideal candidate(s)


USA Today Candidate Match Game

Fred Thompson, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney

ABCNews Match-o-matic

Mitt Romney, Fred Thompson, Rudy Giuliani

VAJOE Candidate Calculator

Duncan Hunter, Tom Tancredo, Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee

WQAD Select a Candidate Quiz

John McCain

Glassbooth Election 2008

Rudy Giuliani, Mike Huckabee, Fred Thompson

Internet Straw Poll

Mike Huckabee

OnTheIssues VoteMatch

Duncan Hunter, Tom Tancredo

GoToQuiz Ultimate 2008 Candidate Matcher

Mitt Romney

Minnesota Public Radio

John McCain, Tom Tancredo, Duncan Hunter, Fred Thompson

SelectSmart Presidential Candidate Selector

(Sam Brownback, Stephen Colbert), Mitt Romney, Fred Thompson, Duncan Hunter, John McCain, Tom Tancredo

The results are certainly interesting, and perhaps more indicative of the bias present in each of the respective polls. Each poll takes a slightly different approach to metrics. Several of these polls use highly biased questions (along the lines of, “Do you approve of Dick Cheney eating puppies for breakfast?”) I kid, no puppies were sacrificed in the writing of this blog post. Here’s a real question from the GoToQuiz Candidate Matcher, “How do you feel about embryonic stem cell research?” The choices are: A- It may lead to cures for diseases, so we should eliminate Bush's restrictions, B- It isn't moral, so we should keep or increase Bush's restrictions, or C- I don’t know. I don’t know about you, but it has always seemed rude to refer to individuals by only their last name (other than in informal settings among friends), but it has been commonplace during the past eight years to reference our President as simply “Bush.” But then, more than a few on the Left have still not come to grips with the fact that GW won, twice.

Getting back on topic, I did not surprise me that the names rising to the top were Republican (I still consider Richard Nixon’s presidency a success but for that little gaffe named after an overpriced hotel.) I have not decided who to support, but consider Fred Thompson, Mike Huckabee, and Mitt Romney my personal frontrunners. Imagine my surprise then when John McCain and Rudy Giuliani entered the mix as I took the various quizzes. Actually, the biggest surprises to me were Tom Tancredo and Duncan Hunter. I have paid little attention to either one. Now it appears I have some more research to do.

In an effort to ake some sense of these polls, I performed some statistical analysis (actually little more than weighted averages) and came up with this chart:


Weighted preference

Fred Thompson


Tom Tancredo


Mitt Romney


Mike Huckabee


Duncan Hunter


John McCain


Rudy Giuliani


Fred tops the list, yet I have serious concerns that he’s not the Reagan Resurrection many conservatives prayed for.

I remain undecided.