Friday, October 26, 2007

Grading the Candidates

There has been a lot of debate in many conservatives circles about the conservatism of the leading Republican presidential candidates. (Example). While everyone's ideas of a qualified candidate differ, I decided to take all five leading Republicans, give them each a score from 1 to 10 on five major issues, and see which candidate won. The issues were: domestic issues (such as crime, guns, and immigration), foreign policy, taxes and spending, social issues, and electability (which isn't an issue, but is important). A grade of five is the "average" grade on the issue among Republicans.

Guiliani

Domestic issues- His performance in New York City was off the charts. From what I have read, crime there was incredibly bad, and Rudy made New York into a safe place. However, he has passionately supported gun control. He also made New York into a santuary city for illegals.
Grade-7
Foreign policy- His views on Iraq seem solid, as do his overall views on the war on terror. His crimefighting experience will be an advantage in the fight against Al-Qeada.
Grade-6
Social issues- Pro-abortion, pro-gay rights. Not so good.
Grade-1
Taxes- He cut taxes in New York city, and seems like a good fiscal conservative.
Grade-5
Electability-He trailed Hillary in the polls in his Senate race, and had to pull out in part because a messy affair. However, his 9/11 performance and nearly universal name recognition will probably help.
Grade-6
Total score-25

Thompson
Domestic issues- As a Senator, he really didn't have an extensive record in this area. He seems very pro-gun. His immigration plan is the best of any candidates.
Grade-8
Foreign policy- He seems to have solid view on Iraq, and the war on Terror in general. He recently issued a statement supporting a free Cuba, which I like.
Grade-5
Social issues- He was pro-abortion for a while, then suddenly and without any fanfare turned pro-life in 2000. Now, however, he seems to have converted pretty solidly to the pro-life cause.
Grade-5
Taxes- Thompson has said that "the U.S. tax code is broken" and supports "dissolution of the IRS as we know it". Sounds good to me.
Grade-7
Electability- Thompson projects a pretty good image when he is doing well, and a very bad image when doing poorly. He has done poorly, for the most part, since he jumped in the race. However, I think we should view this as a few early bumps in the road, and not as a sign of things to come. Every candidate has made gaffes in the beginning- the difference is, they made their back in May when no one noticed.
Grade-4
Total score-29

McCain
Domestic issues- Very bad on immigration, would probably be tough on crime, and is good on guns.
Grade-3
Foreign policy- Was the first to call for a surge, which makes him look very prescient. However, favors closing down Guantanamo Bay and giving the prisoners there rights.
Grade-8
Social issues- Against abortion, against gay rights.
Grade-5
Taxes- He opposed Bush's tax cuts, and still doesn't like them. However, he does favor keeping them. Claims to want to slash spending.
Grade-4
Electability-He wouldn't project a great image, nor a terrible one. His life experiences might give him an edge against Hillary, who has never done anything.
Grade-5
Total score-25

Romney
Domestic issues- he seems to have the standard GOP line on most domestic issues.
Grade-5
Foreign policy- he seems to have the standard GOP line here too.
Grade-5
Social issues- he seems to have the standard GOP line here too. (Expect he suddenly converted two years ago).
Grade-5
Taxes- seems to have the standard GOP line here (can you sense a pattern?), except he seems to spend a lot of time explaining how even though he raised taxes sometimes, it was for a good reason, and he cut other taxes, and he likes cutting taxes. His story seems to make sense, but also seems to just barely hold together.
Grade-4
Electability- He is handsome and articulate. Unfortunately, he also looks and acts pretty robotic.
Grade-5
Total score-24

Huckabee
Domestic issues- he is protectionist, compassionate (in the expand welfare kind of way), is a health nut himself and do his best to make you one too, and seems sympathetic to illegal aliens. On the plus side, he is pro-gun.
Grade-2
Foreign policy- he doesn't seem to have a real vision of the world. I like his Iraq plans, but in the advent of a crisis, I'm not sure he understands the world situation enough. He does defend the Iraq war well though.
Grade-4
Social issues- if abortion was the only issue on the table, Huckabee would win the nomination hands down.
Grade-10
Taxes- he got an F on spending from the Cato Institute. He does support the FairTax, which would abolish the IRS.
Grade-2
Electability-Huckabee is amazingly articulate. He is probably the best natural politician out there. When I hear Huckabee talk, I want to rush out vote for him, even though he is not really qualified. I know that intellectually, but emotionally he appeals to me very strongly.
Grade-7
Total score-25

9 Comments:

At October 26, 2007 at 8:46 PM , Blogger MTHorvat said...

A good job, Daniel, except that Guiliani deserves nothing more than a MINUS 5 on Social issues which would lower his score to 20, no, 19.

 
At October 26, 2007 at 8:58 PM , Blogger Beth said...

I have to say I question the "electability" category altogether. I think a candidate who stands behind the conservative principles will be very electable as compared to Hillary. We need someone who can articulate why the conservative ideals are better than the liberal ones, and that person can win the presidency. To sell it, you have to BE it though. We need to nominate a conservative, or as I said at DD2's blog, we have zero chance of having a conservative for president.

 
At October 27, 2007 at 9:44 PM , Blogger WomanHonorThyself said...

good work on the research Daniel!

 
At October 28, 2007 at 6:08 AM , Blogger Name: Soapboxgod said...

I echo precisely what Beth is saying.

Specifically "We need someone who can articulate why the conservative ideals are better than the liberal ones, and that person can win the presidency. To sell it, you have to BE it though."

 
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