Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Isidewith Quiz: Helping the American Voter in the 2016 Presidential Race

I have long held that a vast majority of the American voting public is woefully under-educated (or completely uneducated) when it comes to civics, current events, domestic policies, foreign affairs, economics, and history.  It is simply a fact that most of our populace is sadly ignorant.  I don’t necessarily mean this as a pejorative indictment against them.  I understand that most Americans are simply busy trying to raise a family, go to work, and pay the bills.  Paying attention to politics and the issues of the day as they relate to the governing of our nation simply aren’t as high of a priority for most people with the scant time they have left in the day.  Understandable.  I do get it.
That being said, if we don’t pay attention to these issues, when the time comes to vote, we are not knowledgeable about which candidate truly represents our own views on issues.  We, therefore, often end up voting for a candidate based on sound bites in the media, or what is trending on Facebook.  We vote by what is popular without understanding the ramifications of what our decisions truly should be, based on our own values.  This is how we end up with un-qualified and integrity-challenged candidates such as Barack Obama in the White House.

Luckily, I have come across a website that can help those Americans that might not have the time to conduct the research needed into the myriads of candidates and their positions that are running for president.  This site is

This website has compiled the various positions of each presidential candidate based on their stated stance on any given issue and created a quiz for voters to take to see which candidate most closely reflects the voter’s given views.  If a candidate speaks repeatedly on a given issue during their campaign, then their passion score for that given issue goes up.  If they pull a Romney or an Obama and flip flop on a particular matter, their most current position will be used to match your response, but their passion score on that issue will go down.

It takes anywhere from ten to fifteen minutes to complete this fairly comprehensive quiz.  When doing this quiz, please note that there is a sliding scale to the left of each question that you need to adjust according to how important you think a particular issue is.  The quiz’s algorithm judges the passion/conviction of the candidate with the importance level you deemed the given issue.  Further, please be aware that each question in the quiz will often have more than just “yes” or “no” options for your response listed under “other stances”.  To get the most accurate results of which candidate best represents your views, check to see if there is a better answer there besides just the yes or no responses accordingly.

There are eight sections of issues in this comprehensive quiz: social, environmental, economic, domestic policy, healthcare, education, foreign policy, and immigration.  Note that each of these eight sections start with just a handful of questions on the quiz.  At the bottom of each section is a text link to show additional questions. Your results for the quiz will be much more accurate if you answer all of these questions under each section and determine how important each issue is to you on the sliding scale previously mentioned.

My quiz results were not horribly surprising to me, as I have done a lot of research and am definitely more up to date on political issues and current events than is the average American voter.  While I have not chosen a candidate that I will back in the primary election to date, there are a handful of people that I am considering as possibilities.  The top four best matches with my views and values were indeed the candidates I am currently considering.  Further, the candidates I have least in common with are indeed at the bottom of the results list where they should be.

I recommend this quiz for all American voters, whether politically educated or not.  I think some people will actually be surprised that the candidate that best reflects their viewpoints may not be the person they thought it would be.  If this prompts otherwise politically ignorant American voters to delve a little deeper into the candidates before casting their all-important vote, then this is indeed a valuable tool, and one that is sorely needed. 

My results are below:

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