Presentation on theme: "Data from a Candidate Calculator Ravi Iyer University of Southern California Suzanne Soule & Jennifer Nairne Center for Civic Education Doug Stenstrom."— Presentation transcript:
Data from a Candidate Calculator Ravi Iyer University of Southern California Suzanne Soule & Jennifer Nairne Center for Civic Education Doug Stenstrom University of Southern California
What I hope to do.... Introduce VoteHelp and the idea of candidate calculators Cluster analysis to move beyond liberal/conservative analysis Moral Foundation Questionnaire results based on clusters identified Ask for your help in future research
What is a Candidate Calculator? Allows voters to match their opinions to the positions of politicians on an issue by issue basis Allows voters to weight the importance of each issue Importance is relative to a relatively comprehensive set of issues Produces a ranked list of politicians Allows users to see how the rankings were generated
VoteHelp.Org results page
Cluster Analysis Each person's more-or-less idiosyncratic perspective cannot be captured by assuming that all people use the same dimensions (Fleishman 1986). Knoke – Dimensions of political attitudes – economic issues, social issues, & racial issues (1979) Previous Cluster Analyses? Likely to be outdated by the time they are published using older issues
Fleishman (1986) ANES 1980 data - ~ people 6 groups – liberals, quasi-liberals (less minority aid), conservatives, advocates of limited government, those with pro-labor attitudes (and anti-civil rights), those who are middle of the road in attitudes toward government economic programs. 12 issues: civil rights, defense spending, government services, inflation vs. unemployment, abortion, aid to minority groups, relations with the Soviets, women's place in society, guaranteed jobs, the Equal Rights Amendment, busing, and nuclear power.
2 Liberal Groups Group 1 – Top issues by issue importance Iraq - Decision Universal Health Care Abortion Gay Marriage Stem Cell Research Group 2 – Top issues by Issue Importance Universal Health Care Environment Regulation Global Warming Iraq - Withdrawal Education Funding
2 Conservative Groups Group 1 – Top issues by Issue Importance Immigration Enforcement Gun Ownership Aggressive Foreign Policy Government Spending Immigration Amnesty Group 2 – Top issues by Issue Importance Abortion Gay Marriage Iraq - Decision Drug Policy Stem Cell Research
Beyond Liberal and Conservative Social issue liberals Environment and education liberals Law and order conservatives Social issue conservatives
Harper's Bazaar Roundtable Baker - The Republican Party is now three factions having an argument: the social-issues faction, the security faction, and the big-money libertarian faction. McConnell - real libertarians are pretty rare
What can you do with this? Issue based coalitions – i.e. Social conservatives want increased educational funding (M=5.4, 7 th most important issue) and agree on environmental issues (M= ), but do not place as much importance on it (21 st and 23 rd out of 28 issues). Areas where 1 group drives policy – i.e. Drug policy is only important to social conservatives. Issue analysis - Iraq withdrawal pits law and order conservatives against both liberal groups with social conservatives apathetic.
Moral Foundation Theory Haidt & Graham 2007 Harm Fairness Ingroup Loyalty Authority Purity Linked study at yourmorals.org - N=184
Conservatives vs. Liberals
MFQ Results by Cluster
MFQ Results Replicated Haidt & Graham findings using issue positions rather than self identification as liberal/conservative Found that social conservatives score higher on purity foundation Found that law and order conservatives score higher on fairness foundation
Summary Importance questions are important especially in context of comprehensive set of issues. Cluster analysis can be leveraged into future work to get beyond liberal/conservative splits. Combining cluster results with linked studies can help other theories get beyond liberal and conservative distinctions too.
Future Directions (I need your help!) Data analysis (more clusters, specific issues) Linked studies Candidate calculators in other countries Candidate calculators for local elections - Paper, presentation and spreadsheet of issue importance and position means by cluster. - more on the moral foundations questionnaire