Candidate match game

Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, December 6th, 2007 - 8 comments
Categories: International - Tags:


This is very cool. USA Today’s put together a candidate match game to help voters work out which US presidential hopefuls best share their views on the key issues.

Here’s how it works:

Polls suggest Americans are concerned primarily with a few key issues in the 2008 presidential election. USA TODAY researched candidate positions on those top issues — Iraq, immigration and health care — as well as a few others that may influence the election. We then came up with 11 multiple-choice questions that would help differentiate the candidates and their stances.

As you answer the questions, you can roll over each color bar below the candidates’ heads to find background on their positions. Your answers are matched with the positions of the presidential hopefuls to reveal the candidate (or candidates) closest to your views. The sliders on the right allow you to assign relative weights to match the importance that you place on each issue.

The options are quite narrow given what passes for political debate in the US and somehow I’ve ended up with Kucinich, but it seems like the kind of thing that could easily be adapted for New Zealand conditions next year.

You can take the test over at USA Today.

[Hat tip: Concerned of Linwood]

8 comments on “Candidate match game”

  1. Max Call 1

    I got Obama, Clinton and some other Democrat I’ve never heard of…
    I think it would be a fantastic idea for NZ election – but instead of indivduals would have to be party views? (for overall party view on issues).

  2. Mike 2

    Unfortunately a lot of the questions didn’t have “none of the above”.
    Based on the options in this ‘game’ ACT would be a centrist party over there.

  3. Robinsod 3

    The other issue is how do you make judgments on National’s policy when they can’t even seem to decide what it is amongst themselves?

  4. Matthew Pilott 4

    I put in the exact opposite and got Duncan Hunter, John McCain and Fred Tompson, all Republican of couse.

    There is one queston in tehre that is outrageous, or more likely the answer is:

    Q: What should happen to US troop levels in Iraq?

    A2: Move most US troops from Iraq to othe places in the region?

    WTF? Are they advocating a general US invasion of the middle East –

    “ok, we’ll chuck 20K at Lebannon, 200K at Iran, 50k at, ok, Jordan gets 50k troops, and what have I forgotten? Syria! How the fuck did I forget Syria? Na no troops for them, just bomb the crap outta them. Sounds good?”

    Tane – this seems like a double edged sword – is it perhaps too far over to the ‘infotainment’ side of things? Unless it was run by an independant organisation (if there is one) or maybe Elections New Zealand, I’d be worried. If that thing was on Fox’s website would you trust it? 😉

    Still, if it was politically neutral and transparent then it would be a great source to see which parties were most in line with your thinking. That’s if we can trust the parties to give an honest statement of intentions before the election…

  5. Camryn 5

    The guy that Tane got second, I got first… which surprised the hell out of me. I then looked at Gravel’s actual statements and I seriously disagree with him in almost as many areas as I strongly agree. Looking across the candidates, I think I have areas of agreement with every single one and at least one serious disagreement that’d probably stop me voting for any of them.

    I always realized that their parties were very broad camps, but each candidate is similarly hard to pigeonhole. I guess each of them is currently trying to appear to as wide a spectrum of opinion (in their party) as possible at this stage in the process… with an eye to the different requirements of the final two horse race.

    I agree with Mike’s point that the whole US candidate spectrum is vastly to the right of New Zealand’s and more conservative.

  6. unaha-closp 6

    Guiliani, Obama, some Republucan I’ve never heard of.

  7. Phil 7

    I’m a little bit confused by the results. I sit on the “right” side of politics, and answered based on my personal preferences, yet ended up with Clinton, Obama, and Biden – all Democrats…

    Reminds me of an old British joke (I think from The Two Ronnies);

    “The Americans have a party called the Republicans… who are a lot like our Conservative Party.
    And they also have a party called the Democrats… who are a lot like our Conservative Party”

  8. Graeme Edgeler 8

    That is pretty cool.

    The sliders at the side where you show what’s important to you are a great touch.

    Before I got to do that, I ended with both Hilary Clinton and John McCain in my top three!

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