VAJoe Candidate Calculator Response Surprises Candidates and Political Bloggers - Voters use Calculator More Than 400,000 Times

Share Article's Candidate Calculator, an online application that matches voters with presidential candidates based on voters' stances on issues, has been used more than 400,000 times in 14 days. The calculator's success led to a Sept. 20 feature on the CNN political news show The Situation Room. Only 13% of respondents filling out the calculator best match the candidate they are supporting.

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Voters have used the Candidate Calculator more than 400,000 times since its release in mid-September (a specific date would be better. Do you know?). The calculator is an online poll that matches users with their most likeminded presidential candidates after they indicate their stances on 23 political issues. The CNN political news show The Situation Room aired a story about the calculator on Sept. 20, and prominent political blogs also have mentioned it.

As of Sept. 25, here are some of the more interesting results from the Candidate Calculator:

  • Favorite Candidate Before Taking Poll

Before taking the poll, respondents indicate which candidate they prefer. The most popular candidates are:

  •     Fred Thompson--23 percent
  •     Hillary Clinton--18 percent
  •     Rudy Giuliani--15 percent
  •     Barack Obama--11 percent
  • How Often Favorite Candidate Matches Candidate Chosen by the Calculator

However, after completing the poll only 13 percent of respondents match their preferred candidate with the candidate that the calculator determines as agreeing with them most on issues.

  •     John Edwards supporters have the lowest match rate. Only 2.7 percent of respondents that indicated John Edwards as their favorite candidate received him as their best match.
  •     Supporters of Dennis Kucinich have the highest match rate, at 48.8 percent.

Most-Frequently and Least-Frequently Matched Candidates
The candidates most frequently calculated as top matches are:

  •     Mike Gravel--14 percent
  •     Tommy Thompson--12 percent
  •     Dennis Kucinich--10 percent
  •     The least-often matched candidates are:
  •     John McCain--.5 percent
  •     Sam Brownback--1 percent
  •     John Edwards--1.5 percent
  • Composite Candidate

The calculator compiles the most popular responses from all respondents to create a composite candidate, a candidate whose views match most with the average responses of users. The highest-ranking composite candidates are:

  •     Joseph Biden--43 percent
  •     Barack Obama--41 percent
  •     Tommy Thompson--41 percent
  • Important Issues

The three issues in the calculator most often marked as having the highest importance to the user are:

  •     Iraq Surge
  •     Abortion
  •     Free Trade

VAJoe developed the Candidate Calculator as a thought-provoking tool to prompt consideration of important issues facing our country. The Candidate Calculator is not a scientific poll and should not be cited as such.

For additional information, contact Lane Barnholtz or visit VA The Candidate Calculator can be used here.


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Lane Barnholtz
VA Joe
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