Don’t know who to vote for? These scientists have got you covered!

Tom Etienne
Feb 4, 2020 · 2 min read

We know there’s a lot of candidates running. And we know theres a ton of information available about them and their positions. But we also know how much of the information is tainted, subjective, or just plain false.

Enter Kieskompas*: a bunch of political scientists, rid of partisanship, who have compiled the positions of the 6 most prominent candidates on 30 contentious topics. Presented in a quiz format, because we know you like that.

The Amsterdam-based research institute has been developing what we call “Voting Advice Applications” since 2006. We’ve done so in over 40 countries, including the U.S.. And now, we are back for the Democratic Primaries with our Election Compass.

By answering 30 statements, which have been carefully selected to demonstrate the biggest differences in opinion between the Democratic candidates, we place you in the Democratic Political Landscape.

This tells you which candidates share your view on society most. Are you a full-blown left-wing liberal? Or are you rather on the more conservative wing of the Democratic Party?

Don’t be fooled by how closely Trump is placed to Joe Biden and other candidates. Because the landscape intends to show the differences between the Democratic candidates, Trump’s position is skewed, as he is positioned based on the same statements — all Democratic talking points.

Also interesting is the ranking of the candidates. Different from your position in the landscape, which provides a more general ideological placement, the ranking informs you to which extent you agree with each candidate.

The statements cover all topics in the current political debate, provided the candidates don’t all agree. They cover different themes, such as climate & energy, the economy, or foreign policy.

Years and years of academic work have gone into the development of such voting advice applications to ensure the most reliable outcomes. The content of this specific tool was commissioned by FES, the “oldest political foundation in Germany with a rich tradition in social democracy dating back to its foundation in 1925”.

*Kieskompas literally translates to “Choosing Compass”, but goes by the name “Election Compass” internationally.

The U.S. Democratic Primaries Election Compass

The Election Compass is a “Voting Advice Application”, a popularized academic tool comparing citizens’ opinions to their political candidates’ positions on the most prominent and contentious issues in the campaign. Try it yourself at usa.electioncompass.org!

Tom Etienne

Written by

I am a research fellow at the Amsterdam-based political research institute called “Kieskompas”, aka The Election Compass. We develop voting advice applications.

The U.S. Democratic Primaries Election Compass

The Election Compass is a “Voting Advice Application”, a popularized academic tool comparing citizens’ opinions to their political candidates’ positions on the most prominent and contentious issues in the campaign. Try it yourself at usa.electioncompass.org!