Wednesday, January 02, 2008

SLANTblog's Rate-the-Candidates Scale

Now that 2008 has gotten underway, how do you rate the field of presidential candidates?

Many readers have already decided which Democrat or Republican they like best, and which ones they’d be absolutely unwilling to accept. Others are still mulling. In Iowa tomorrow night the first votes of confidence that actually matter will happen in that state’s caucuses. How much do those votes matter?

Well, I just heard Judy Woodruff say on PBS that she estimates, when all is said and done in Iowa, the candidates will have spent something like $400-per-vote. Putting aside considerations of how they might look later in the general election, if you were casting a vote in Iowa, what would you do to pick between two, or three candidates that all seem pretty good, but not perfect?

SLANTblog wants to help. Using the five categories below and a one-to-ten scale, rate the candidates. Then add up their totals.

The SLANTblog Rate-the-Candidates Scale’s categories are:

A. Fitness -- quality of political experience and life story
B. Speaking/Leadership -- ability to deliver speeches, field questions and inspire others
C. Grasp of Domestic Issues and Proposed Programs
D. Grasp of International Politics and Proposed Policies
E. Integrity/Credibility

For example, using this method, here’s how former president Bill Clinton might stack up:

A. 5 points
B. 7 points
C. 6 points
D. 5 points
E. 2 points
Total: 25 points

Whether you agree with my example isn’t important. Bill Clinton isn’t running this time. Well, not exactly.

The thing to do is rate the candidates who are running, then see if this method helps you separate one from another. Of course, if you’re just going to say the candidate you already prefer gets a solid 50-point rating, and all the rest of them get five points, then don’t waste your time. This only works if you're willing to try to be more honest than Bill Clinton or Richard Nixon.

In your opinion, at the threshold of the primary season -- at this moment -- does Hillary Clinton rate higher than Barack Obama, or John Edwards? Using what you know today, how about Mike Huckabee vs. Mitt Romney? Ron Paul against Rudy Giuliani?

No comments: