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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 "personal" and "economic" questions.  It is only a theory - please take it with a grain of salt!

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

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

Candidate's Score

The candidate scored the following on the VoteMatch questions:
 

Personal Score 85%
Economic Score 80%
 

Where the Candidate Fits In

Where the candidate's Personal score meets the Economic score on the grid below is the candidate's political philosophy.  Based on the above score, the candidate is a Hard-Core Libertarian.

Political Map

 
Personal Score

This measures how much the candidate believes government should intervene in people's personal lives. Personal 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 personal questions to minimize government involvement, but would answer economic questions to include government intervention.
  • A "hard-core libertarian" would answer both personal and economic questions to minimize government involvement.
  • A "hard-core conservative" would answer personal questions to include government intervention, but would answer economic questions to minimize government involvement.
  • A "hard-core authoritarian" would answer both personal and economic questions with proposals that include government intervention.

 

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

Personal Issues The candidate Hard-core Liberal Hard-core Libertarian Hard-Core Conservative Hard-Core Authoritarian
Abortion Is A  Woman's Right
 
Sexual Orientation Protected By Civil Rights Law
 
Organized Prayer In Public Schools
 
Death Penalty
 
Mandatory "Three Strikes" Sentencing Laws
 
Drug Use Is Immoral: Enforce Laws Against It
 
Allow Churches To Provide Welfare Services
 
Link Human Rights To Trade With China
 

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

Economic Issues The Candidate Hard-core Liberal Hard-core Libertarian Hard-Core Conservative Hard-Core Authoritarian
Require Companies To Hire More Women/Minorities
 
More Federal Funding For Health Coverage
 
Privatize Social Security
 
Spend Resources To Stop Global Warming
 
Make Income Tax Flatter And Lower
 
Immigration Helps Our Economy - Encourage It
 
Support and Expand Free Trade
 
Continue Foreign Aid to Russia, Israel, Others
 
The Candidate Hard-core Liberal Hard-core Libertarian Hard-Core Conservative Hard-Core Authoritarian

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

Issues Not Counted In Philosophy The Candidate Hard-core Liberal Hard-core Libertarian Hard-Core Conservative Hard-Core Authoritarian
Absolute Right To Gun Ownership
 
Parents Choose Schools Via Vouchers
 
More Spending On Armed Forces Personnel
 
Reduce Spending on Missile Defense ("Star Wars")
 
The Candidate Hard-core Liberal Hard-core Libertarian Hard-Core Conservative Hard-Core Authoritarian

= 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 3 or 4 of the Personal questions and for 3 or 4 of the Economic questions.

There are four questions which are not counted in the candidate's political philosophy. Those questions do not fit this theory -- for example, Democrats typically oppose unrestricted gun ownership, while a 'hard core liberal' would support it on grounds of the government not intervening in a personal issue. These omissions ensure that the theoretical definitions match with current-day politics.

Many of these statements cross over the line between personal issues and economic issues. And many people might answer what we call a "Personal" 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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