Monday, November 06, 2006

Who knows how many misinformed voters the Dispatch has unintentionally created in OH-12

(update appears above) ACK! The Dispatch Media Group has a website called OhioElects, which overall is a very nice resource for election-related info (including things like Ad-Watch and links to all the Columbus Dispatch & ONN election-related content, etc.).

They also have a little survey/calculator app called Candidate Match, where you fill out a 30 question survey rating your agreement/disagreement with each of 30 statements, as well as the importance you attach to the issue. They had each candidate fill out the same questionnaire, and in each race a candidate score is created by looking at how closely you matched on an item (exact match = 100pts, 1 off = 50, 2 off = 0, 3 off = -50, 4 off = -100). Each item score is multiplied by two if you rated the issue 'extremely important,' and multiplied by 0 (eliminated) if you rated the issue as 'not important.'

I just took it myself, and it accurately indicated that my positions were much closer to Strickland's than to Blackwell's, closer to Brown's than Dewines's (although not as dramatically as in the governor's race), and closer to Bob Shamansky than to Pat Tiberi.

But this last one was kind of a shock, as my agreement score with Pat Tiberi was much higher than with any of the other Republicans. How could this be? It turns out that instead of marking all of Tiberi's items as unanswered, or answered by the Dispatch based on public statements, Every Tiberi item was rated neutral. Every single one.

They had turned Tiberi into the ultimate moderate, who thought that all issues were important, but had no strong opinion on any of them.

So what happens when an undecided moderate in OH-12 comes to Candidate Match? Well, if they pick "somewhat agree" with nearly every liberal position, and "neutral" for 1 issue that has unclear partisan divisions (e.g. Push for a Palestinian state, Path to Citizenship), well then, Candidate Watch says Tiberi's your guy. If they are anywhere to the right of our perfect left-center respondent, they are overwhelmingly closer to Tiberi.

I'm sure it's an accident, but it's a massive stacked deck. If you know anyone who has gone or might go to the site to help them make up their minds, please warn them that the 12th district matchmaker is WRONG! I've emailed the CD, and hopefully they'll fix it, but who knows.

1 comment:

Walker Evans said...

I'm glad all this election day stuff is finally over with. ;)