USA Today has a quiz you can take to find out which presidential candidate’s views on 11 issues are most similar to yours.
The candidates are, in alphabetical order, Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Barack Obama, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, and Rick Santorum. The issues are:
- Health care
- Social Security
- Climate change
- Defense spending
- Gay marriage
I took the quiz and must admit I was surprised by the results. Ron Paul’s views are the best fit with mine (66.7% agreement), with Rick Perry being the next (53.4%), followed by Michele Bachmann (46.8%).
But then, like all social science measuring instruments, this quiz is methodologically flawed/inadequate:
- The quiz gives equal weight to every one of the 11 issues when, in real life, some issues are more important to us than others. And so, although I may agree with Candidate X on a greater number of issues, we are on opposing sides on an issue about which I’m passionate. Whereas, although I may agree with Candidate Y on a fewer number of issues, on the one or two issues about which I care greatly, we are in agreement.
- The quiz’s scope is 11 issues, leaving out many others, such as education, abortion, the national debt and government spending. Moreover, it’s USA Today who selected those 11 issues because they deem those 11 issues to be important. You or I may disagree.
To conclude, I suggest you take your quiz results with a grain of salt. In the last analysis, you know best which candidate you like, that is assuming you’ve done the homework on the candidates — their qualifications, policy positions, values, and moral character.
To take the quiz, click here.