Candidate Match Game


USA Today has an interesting quiz you can take that will match you up with a GOP presidential candidate. It’s here.

I didn’t find the particular questions and answers satisfying, but I imagine they’ve tried to match these up as closely as possible with the candidates’ positions. There are some interesting features to the quiz. For starters, it’s a nice piece of information architecture. The colors make it easy to track how each answer is reflected in each of the candidates’ rankings. The sliders, which let you set importance of the issues, are fun to use, and you can adjust any one of them at any time, so you can see how varying your weights effects each candidates’ score. I like that it also shows candidate “you”: this gives a feel for how closely you match up with the candidates in general. The closer the top candidate is to your bar, the closer the fit. Another nice touch: the way that the candidates are obscured by only showing silhouettes until you are done filling out the quiz. I would imagine this makes it less likely that you will try and tweak your answers and weightings to favor your favorite candidate, though if you look closely enough you can make out at least a couple of the candidates just from their silhouettes.

One final interesting note. The weightings are linear and additive. Another way to do the quiz might be to find the candidate with the best weighted geometric average. Depending on how the sliders were done, this could give you a “kill switch” to eliminate candidates who took a position opposite from yours on a single, vital issue (ie abortion). On the other hand, I suppose if you are a single issue voter you already know how each of the candidates stand on that issue.

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3 comments

  1. lol did you pick your responses just to get a bell curve of the candidates?

  2. do you have a problem with highlighting links ?
    it is really childish, but go thru the checklist at http://www.webpagesthatsuck.com
    I agree with you that the “choices” are those of the candidates; what is striking is that the most “liberal” choice is, usually, a right wing choice…

  3. Something’s off here – Michele Bachmann is my candidate of choice? I think not. Better app here: http://www.votesmart.org/voteeasy/

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