Yet Another Political Position Quiz

Electoral Compass is yet another site which asks a series of questions and then matches them with the candidates. As with many of these sites, it is entertaining but has limitations which prevent it from actually making the decision for you. Many positions can be altered by a change in wording. There is no attempt to prioritize the issues. I might disagree with a candidate on some issues which wouldn’t affect my vote, but other issues might completely rule out a candidate.

After taking the test you see where you line up on a spectrum of both social and economic issues. Questions on Iraq and terrorism are included in the test, but it would be more revealing if they were along a third continuum. One notable finding is that the Democrats and Republicans are clumped into two very discrete groups. Among the Republicans, Ron Paul is less socially conservative, but remains much less conservative than any of the Democratic candidates. Of course if they included questions on legalization of all drugs and prostitution the results might be quite different. Paul also falls right in line with the other Republicans on economic issues, but a true test would show real distinctions here.

All the Democrats are significantly more liberal on social as well as economic issues than any of the Republicans. This helps shoot down the idea that Rudy Giuliani is a social liberal. He is the most socially liberal Republican after Ron Paul in this study, but not by very much. Fred Thompson comes in as the most conservative candidate, and the furthest from my views on this test.

I won’t knock the test very much as it did tell me to vote for Barack Obama. He is shown as being a little more socially liberal and economically to the right than the other Democrats who are lumped closer together. One useful feature is that after taking the test you can compare your answers to the answers of the candidates. For whatever it might mean, I once took a different test which advised me to vote for Gravel. As he’s not included on this test I could not determine if a different set of questions would provide the same result.

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10 Comments

  1. 1
    Kaligula says:

    Closest to Paul furthest from Thompson. The 2nd closest is Obama.

    I’m in the social liberal/progressive economic right quadrant, about 2/3 up from the horizontal and 30 degrees from the vertical.

    yet am i extreme rightest for supporting Paul, Ron?

  2. 2
    David Weisman says:

    Surely you can’t ‘measure’ the political position of a candidate by examining their latests stated position, ignoring any difference between one who has held a position for their whole life, and one who only stated that same position in response to questions during primaries.

  3. 3
    Ron Chusid says:

    Kaligula,

    It is difficult to say anything about anyone supporting Paul, considering the wide variety.

    There are a number of right wing extremists supporting Paul. There are also a number of libertarians supporting Paul. Personally I don’t think Paul has anything to offer libertarians, and as I’ve shown in other recent posts here, an increasing number of libertarians are now agreeing (along with many who now admit they’ve known all along). While there are some areas of overlap, Paul is essentially a social conservative states rights advocate whose views are quite contrary to libertarianism.

  4. 4
    Ryan says:

    For me: Obama is my closest
    Barack Obama
    You are 23% economic right
    You are 8% more traditional
    You have a substantive agreement of 69%

    It’s interesting that really the only significant differences within a party are social.

  5. 5
    Ron Chusid says:

    David,

    No, that is one of the many flaws in such a survey. This is much more for amusement than serious political use.

  6. 6
    Ron Chusid says:

    Ryan,

    To some degree the differences within the party are also limited by the questions asked. For example the recent post on The Libertarianism of Barack Obama shows some economic differences which are not addressed by this. I also had a post not long ago which looked at the candidate responses on issues regarding executive power, and there were also some differences there.

  7. 7
    b-psycho says:

    Eh, I gave it a shot. Got the same top two as kaligula.

    For me, elections are nothing more than a curiosity. The kind of shift I’m interested in isn’t going to come at the ballot box. That said, the frustration with Ron Paul just becomes more clear to me every day. I wasn’t going to support him even before the ghost-written racist crap came out, now I’m wondering how someone naive enough to let random bigots rant on paper & stick their name on it could even handle the job anyway. That kind of blind spot in judgement is never a good sign. Besides, any chance at libertarianism propelling a serious campaign is going to have to come from the Left, as its inherent anti-establishment bent doesn’t lend well to paens to the past, and conservatism is wandering off a cliff anyway.

    As for Obama, the success of his campaigning style shows one thing: most voters could care less about policy, and he knows that. Andrew Sullivan’s description of Obama as a liberal Reagan makes more sense than I initially thought.

  8. 8
    Robert Rouse says:

    My answers resulted in an Obama answer as well. Guess I’m backing the right horse according to my politics – of course, I knew that without taking the quiz.

  9. 9
    Sarah says:

    I took the quiz. I matched with John Edwards. An extremely close second was Obama.

  10. 10
    Matt says:

    Mitt Romney was my number 1, with John McCain No. 2.

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