What if people voted for which candidate they most closely aligned with on issues, and not based on who the media gatekeepers thinks you should vote for? -- PART II
Last month, I blogged about the results of iSideWith.com's quiz, when just over 600,000 visitors had taken their online quiz based on the issues, in a post titled "Johnson wins election if based on issues."
iSideWith.com has been overwhelmed with participants and now there have been over 1,400,000 quiz taker results. I had wanted to write an update at the 1,000,000 mark, but the consequence of their success was that they had to take down their state-by-state statistics for a few weeks so they could upgrade their software and crank through all of the results to give us updated state-by-state statistics.
The new state-by-state stats are now available. I've run all the calculations again, and here is the new map.
The map is created of over 1,400,000 quiz taker results on the iSideWith site. Users answer 36 questions that cover a range of issues from social, environment, science, foreign policy, domestic policy, immigration, the economy, and healthcare. Their answers are matched up with the candidates' answers, and then they are shown who they align most closely with based on a percentage scale, including percentage alignments of the other candidates so you can see the candidate you least agree with as well.
iSideWith generates state-by-state breakdowns so you can see which state's population of quiz takers supports which candidate from the most to least. I tabulated the data and assigned the electoral votes to the "winner" of each state. In case of ties, the electoral votes are divided evenly and the map shows multicolored lines in tied states. iSideWith included a couple candidates in their questionnaire who will only be on the ballot in a handful of states so I excluded them, but I did include the Constitution, Democrat, Green, Libertarian, and Republican candidates.
Barack Obama, as the incumbent, wins a total of 300.5 electoral votes in 26 states. He wins the states you’d expect him to win - the West Coast, Northeast and a few in the Great Lakes region.
Gary Johnson (Libertarian Party) loses the title of President from the first report, but he holds on to first place in 26 states surpassing everyone else, except Obama. Johnson receives 231.5 electoral votes.
Ron Paul loses the three states from the first report, but takes first in Mississippi. He had the highest number of 2nd place finishes in the first report, but slipped to only 15 second place finishes this time. Paul received 6 electoral votes.
Jill Stein (Green Party) loses ground since the first update. She doesn't win any states, but places 2nd in 16 states which gives her the highest number of 2nd place finishes. Zero electoral votes.
Mitt Romney also loses a lot of ground since the first update and his best finish is 3rd place in 5 states. Zero electoral votes.
Virgil Goode (Constitution Party) never made it out of last place in any state. Zero electoral votes.
The most interesting thing of iSideWith is which candidate to voters agree with the most. The breakdown is:
Percentage in agreement
Obama - 49.7% > Johnson - 49.1% > Stein - 45.5% > Paul - 43.3% > Romney - 37.5% > Goode - 24.1%.
BATTLEGROUND STATESJohnson and Obama are within 2% of each other in 12 states -- in modern media posturing these would be the battleground states: Delaware, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Ohio, and Virginia.
- These results are what I would expect if the Commission of Presidential Debate gate keepers were to let Johnson into the debates, but as of right now they have set an arbitrary 15% threshold which was instituted after Ross Perot almost upset the old two-party party system when he was included in the debates, when he was only polling at 7%. Due to Perot's appearances in the debates, Perot shot up to 38% in the polls. Johnson would very likely follow Perot’s trajectory if Johnson was included in the general election debates.
- When results are based on matching voters to candidates on issues you end up with minor parties winning some electoral votes, because there is no "wasted vote" syndrome to deal with. You might expect a similar sort of result with alternative voting methods such as Ranked Choice Voting or Approval Voting with fully informed voters.
- iSideWith.com also shows you the breakdown of voters based on what site they came from (users from Facebook, DailyKos, DailyPaul. etc.). The more conservative sites are missing (i.e. FOX News, RedState, and WorldNetDaily), and older voters, who statistically have higher voter turn out and tend to run more conservative, are also least likely to use the Internet, so the results are definitely skewed, but they haven't changed all that much with the addition of 800,000 quiz participant results.
- The final question comes down to: Do we want a qualified candidates leading the country who nearly 50% of question respondents agree with or someone with less than 40% agreement?
Here is the spreadsheet with the calculations of the results based on iSideWith.com’s data as of August 14, 2012, at approximately 6PM ET.