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Candidate's Political Philosophy
The below is a way of thinking about the candidate's political philosophy by dividing the candidate's VoteMatch answers into "social" and "economic" questions.  It is only a theory - please take it with a grain of salt!

Social Questions:  Liberals and libertarians agree in choosing the less-government answers, while conservatives and populists agree in choosing the more-restrictive answers.

Economic Questions:  Conservatives and libertarians agree in choosing the less-government answers, while liberals and populists agree in choosing the more-restrictive answers.
 

Candidate's Score

The candidate scored the following on the VoteMatch questions:
 

Social Score 73%
Economic Score 20%
 

Where the Candidate Fits In

Where the candidate's Social score meets the Economic score on the grid below is the candidate's political philosophy.  Based on the above score, the candidate is a Populist-Leaning Liberal.

Political Map

 
Social Score

This measures how much the candidate believes government should intervene in people's personal lives or on social issues. These issues include health, morality, love, recreation, prayer and other activities that are not measured in dollars.

  • A high score (above 60%) means the candidate believes in tolerance for different people and lifestyles.
  • A low score (below 40%) means the candidate believes that standards of morality & safety should be enforced by government. 

Economic Score

This measures how much the candidate believes government should intervene in people's economic lives. Economic issues include retirement funding, budget allocations, and taxes. 

  • A high score (above 60%) means the candidate believes in personal responsibility for financial matters, and that free-market competition is better for people than central planning by the government. 
  • A low score (below 40%) means the candidate believes that a good society is best achieved by the government redistributing wealth. The candidate believes that government's purpose is to decide which programs are good for society, and how much should be spent on each program.

This measures how much the candidate believes government should intervene in people's economic lives. Economic issues include retirement funding, budget allocations, and taxes. 

How We Score Candidates

    How we determine a candidate's stance on each VoteMatch question:
  1. We collect up votes, excerpts from speeches, press releases, and so on, which are related to each question. Each of these are shown on the candidate's VoteMatch table.
  2. We assign an individual score for each item on the list. The scores can be: Strongly Favor, Favor, Neutral/Mixed, Oppose, Strongly Oppose. The scoring terms refer to the text of the question, not whether the candidate strongly opposed a bill, for example.
  3. We then average the individual scores, using the numeric scale: Strongly Favor = 2, Favor = 1, Neutral/Mixed = 0, Oppose = -1, Strongly Oppose = -2.
  • If the average is above 1, the overall answer to the question is Strongly Favor.
  • If the average is above 0, the overall answer to the question is Favor.
  • If the average is exactly 0, the overall answer to the question is Neutral.
  • If the average is below 0, the overall answer to the question is Oppose.
  • If the average is below -1, the overall answer to the question is Strongly Oppose.
  • When you do a VoteMatch quiz, your answers are compared to each candidates' overall answer to come up with a matching percentage.
  • To get the political philosophy of the candidate, we sum up the answers on two scales, the Personal/Social scale and the Economic Scale. Some questions aren't used in the political philosophy calculations.
  • The VoteMatch table indicates the number of scale points from each answer (any one question can provide from 0 to 10 scale points on one scale or the other).
  • The combination of social/moral scales and economic scales produces a political philosophy description. A more detailed explanation appears below.

Examples

The chart below indicates how four "hard-core" political philosophers would answer the questions. From this example, you can see how the candidate fits in with each philosophy.  The candidate's answers are on the left.

  • A "hard-core liberal" would answer social questions to minimize government involvement, but would answer economic questions to include government intervention.
  • A "hard-core libertarian" would answer both social and economic questions to minimize government involvement.
  • A "hard-core conservative" would answer social questions to include government intervention, but would answer economic questions to minimize government involvement.
  • A "hard-core populist" would answer both social and economic questions with proposals that include government intervention.

 

= Strongly Support    = Support    = No Opinion    = Oppose    = Strongly Oppose
 

Social Issues The candidate Hard-core Liberal Hard-core Libertarian Hard-Core Conservative Hard-Core Populist
Question 1. Abortion is a woman's unrestricted right
 
Question 3. Comfortable with same-sex marriage
 
Question 8. Human needs over animal rights
 
Question 12. Pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens
 
Question 17. Stay out of Iran
 
Question 4. Keep God in the public sphere
 
Question 9. Stricter punishment reduces crime
 
Question 15. Expand the military
 
Question 16. Stricter limits on political campaign funds
 
Question 19. Never legalize marijuana
 

= Strongly Support    = Support    = No Opinion    = Oppose    = Strongly Oppose

Economic Issues The Candidate Hard-core Liberal Hard-core Libertarian Hard-Core Conservative Hard-Core Populist
Question 2. Legally require hiring women & minorities
 
Question 5. Expand ObamaCare
 
Question 11. Higher taxes on the wealthy
 
Question 18. Prioritize green energy
 
Question 20. Stimulus better than market-led recovery
 
Question 6. Privatize Social Security
 
Question 7. Vouchers for school choice
 
Question 10. Absolute right to gun ownership
 
Question 13. Support and expand Free Trade
 
Question 14. Maintain US sovereignty from UN
 
The Candidate Hard-core Liberal Hard-core Libertarian Hard-Core Conservative Hard-Core Populist

= Strongly Support    = Support    = No Opinion    = Oppose    = Strongly Oppose

 

Final Notes

To ensure balance among political viewpoints, we arranged the wording of the questions so that half the time, the answer involving more government is answered by "support", and half the time by "oppose." Hence, each of the "hard core" philosophers would choose "support" for 5 of the Social questions and for 5 of the Economic questions.

Many of these statements cross over the line between social issues and economic issues. And many people might answer what we call a "Social" issue based on economic reasoning. But we have tried to arrange a series of questions which separates the way candidates think about government activities in these two broad scales.

Political Map and some content from Advocates for Self-Government.

 

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