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Postman on Politics

Chief political reporter David Postman explores state, regional and national politics.

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December 24, 2007 10:01 AM

Presidential match game

Posted by David Postman

If you didn’t get a chance to see the Sunday paper, check out this story by Ralph Thomas. He looked at online presidential match games that are designed to help people decide which candidate thinks most like they do. There were some pretty surprising results when he got some local political types to try the games.

My favorite pairing was business lobbyist Carolyn Logue and her political soul mate -- well, one of several, depending on the site -- Kent McManigal. If you’re not familiar with McManigal, he’s a write-in candidate for president as a Radical Libertarian. He’s a protest candidate, having given up his active campaign “when I realized that it wasn't possible to force the government back into the cage that the Constitution was designed to be while using methods approved and "allowed" by the same rogue government.”

He says on his personal Web site:

I was born at least a hundred years too late. Probably more like one hundred and fifty. I think I would make a better caveman than a "cog in the machinery of modern life".

He’s not totally adverse to modern amenities, though. He likes to sing Karoke. You can click here to check out the song stylings of the self-described “Mountain Man, primitive survivalist, ‘Hooligan libertarian’, anarchist, write-in presidential candidate, opinionated writer of blogs and letters-to-editors, gun lover, UFO-loving skeptic, animal lover, karaoke singer, and all-around character.”

Want to see if you match up with the Mountain Man? Try these and let me know what you find:

It’s easy to dismiss such tools. But at least one reader is reconsidering his presidential choice after reading Sunday’s story and trying the match game. He wrote to Ralph this morning:

The matching applications bring issues back into the fold and help people make sure they aren't voting completely on charisma or religion or looks. I want the leader of the United States to handle the issues I care about, not just to look good and speak well while continuing to drive the US into obscurity.

For instance, I was originally completely on the Democratic side in favor of Obama. I did some of these quizzes a while back expecting to see Obama at the top of my list. I was surprised when it came out Ron Paul, but I didn't take this to mean that the selection was wrong. Even though I had completely dismissed Ron Paul up to that point (partially because of my annoyance with is fanatical supporters), I took the opportunity to read up on him, and watch his great Google video on youtube (from the Google Candidates talk). Surprisingly, his views rang true to me more than the Democrat views. Looking at the 'issues', the matching applications were correct, even if I had favored another candidate previously. Now I favor Obama as a Democrat, but Ron Paul as a Republican.

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