Vote 2012: How well does your candidate really match your values?

Boy, we get ourselves into a frenzy every four years, don’t we? By “we” I mean Americans and by “frenzy” I’m talking about the our shared and increasingly destructive quadrennial experience that turns friends into foes, normally pleasant people into rabid haters (or at least Facebook de-frienders), and polarizes our country to the point that we struggle to talk about the candidates civilly, let alone the issues.

During the last presidential election season, I asked my readers to back up from the battle over candidates and examine instead their values around certain issues. And then match those values to what a range of candidates say about and how they have voted on such issues. OnTheIssues.org has configured a way to compare your values with those of various candidates (wider than the handful we are now down to).

(Let me take a moment to thank those of you who answered my four values questions last week. I enjoyed learning what you believe and why you believe it. I have finally added my own response.

Your turn to take the vote match quiz

Go ahead. There are 20 quick questions over four broad topics: Individual Rights, Domestic Issues, Economic Issues and Defense/International Issues. It shouldn’t take you longer than a minute or two.

For each issue, you can click to get clarification, as I did when I needed to know what was meant by “family values” being taught in public schools. Sometimes we throw terms around without having a common understanding of them. I mean, I want my family’s values taught in schools, but maybe not that family’s. For this question I clicked and found that it meant “Strongly Support means you believe: Judeo-Christian values are American values” and “Strongly Oppose means you believe: Separation of church and state precludes allowing school prayer.” I could also see the points in between the two stronglies and select where I most closely fit.

My top two matches and a few surprises

As in 2008, there were some surprises on how my VoteMatch test turned out. My guiding principle is freedom, both personal an economic, so there was no surprise in my top-matching candidates — Gary Johnson (60% match) and Ron Paul — except perhaps in the order they turned up. But I was surprised that Hilary Clinton matched me 2 percentage points better than Mitt Romney (mostly due to social issues) and that Barack Obama and Paul Ryan were tied at a 35% match to my values (though if economic issues were weighted more, Ryan would have had a higher score with me). And guess what? Sarah Palin was at the bottom of my list (18%). Not what you’d necessarily expect from someone who is still a registered Republican.

(And no, I don’t identify any better with the Democratic party. Neither major party seems to value or protect our economic and personal freedoms.)

So, who are your top two candidates and what surprises came up in your results?

If you’re a political junkie, you can also plot yourself on the Nolan Chart. Where do you fall?

Where are your values on the political spectrum / grid?Relationships of political terms

15 thoughts on “Vote 2012: How well does your candidate really match your values?”

  1. I found my results interesting. My husband says I am liberal; the quiz says I am Conservative. I actually feel it’s like everything else in my life…I wasn’t born to ever have any labels :). I have never really wanted to talk with any of our Presidents, but I was reading an article yesterday that made me want to ask President Obama for insight on how he deals with a personal issue.

  2. While this quiz plotted me similarly to others I’ve taken recently (apparently I’m becoming more libertarian every year!)… I was shocked by the candidates it told me I should be aligned with! No thank you! Interestingly, both of the top presidential candidates were at the same rank – 33%. That seems about right. ;)

  3. Apparently, I’m more of a Democrat than I ever thought. Of course, I was in a 4 way tie with Joe Biden, Ralph Nader, Jill Stein, and Barack Obama.

  4. I discovered that I am a moderate libertarian conservative. I had been disappointed with the two horse race for some time, but allowed a dislike for one candidate fuel my vote for the other. Now I see that neither horse in this race is very aligned with my values. Many liberals believe that those who don’t want the government to provide welfare don’t care about the poor, but I simply don’t want politicians trying to take credit for the generosity of other people. There are many other issues like that, if I give money to a guy on the street and i hear that he spends it on alcohol and drugs, I say to my self that it was a waste, learn from the experience and stop giving the guy money. I don’t even have to convince congress because it is under my control. I don’t even have to agree with others about the prudent use of alcohol and define morality in government. I give according to my conscience, and you can give according to yours. Problem solved.

  5. I found my results to be really interesting. Ralph Nader was my top candidate (at 80%!) and there were four people above Barak Obama, including Hilary Clinton (which doesn’t surprise me all that much). Mit Romney was REALLY low down and Herman Cain was least in line with me (my partner will LOVE that). That was a really interesting site. Thanks for sharing and sending us there. Very eye opening.

  6. This was a fun exercise! I know I’m left-lending, but I learned a bit more about to what degree and why. And I was completely surprised to see Ralph Nader at the top of my list (considering how many arguments I got into with people during the 2000 election, it was really a surprise). Thanks for sharing this with us!

  7. I wasn’t surprised by my matches on the 20 question survey. Apparently, I don’t match anyone very well, because my top two were Hillary Clinton and Ralph Nader matching in the low 60’s. The Nolan chart however, puts me in libertarian or centrist/libertarian depending on how I’m feeling about social security, and I wouldn’t have guessed that given the plethora of liberal candidates I matched better than say, Ron Paul. Hmmm.

  8. My top two were Ralph Nader and Jill Stein, each with 58%, followed by 3 Democrats: Biden, Obama, and Clinton, with 53% each. Santorum was at the bottom, with 3%, and Romney got 8%. I think what gets me such a low score is that I don’t have an opinion about certain things, but I have very strong opinions when I do have opinions.

  9. I had an 8% match with Mitt Romney. Guess that sort of answers my voting question :-) Though Biden (my top match) came in higher than Obama (who was 3rd or 4th).

  10. I found this fun & interesting to do as a Canadian. ; ) My top match was a tie between Rocky Anderson of the Justice Party (someone I’ve never heard of!) & Jill Stein of the Green Party at 65%, followed closely by Ralph Nader. Then Biden, Obama & Hillary all at 58%. There’s quite a drop off after that, with a few Libertarians & moderate Republicans in the mid 30s & high 20s, bottoming out at 0% with Rick Santorum & Rick Perry (which sounds about right to me, lol). ; ) I was categorized as a “hard core liberal.” I’ve always considered myself more of a Progressive Conservative or “Red Tory,” which is sort of a dying breed here in Canada — but then again our “right wing” Conservative Party currently in government would probably be considered pretty liberal by most Americans. Interesting stuff.

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