“Twenty-six percent (26%) of Likely U.S. Voters say the country is heading in the right direction, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey taken the week ending Sunday, Jan. 22. That’s the highest level of optimism measured in over seven months.” - Rassmusen, 1/25/12
A friend had a good question about a comparison between all of the 2012 candidates. For lack of really any good comparison that I was able to find, I decided to take a shot at plotting them based on the PoliticalCompass diagram (http://www.politicalcompass.org), and where I thought they would fit.
I based them not simply on their rhetoric, but the way they’ve voted in office. This has a certain effect of cutting through the “BS” and getting right down to brass tacks. I welcome your feedback on these rankings.
Newt Gingrich (R): Gingrich has been a relatively consistent fiscal conservative. However, his previous support of environmental regulations (remember those commercials with Pelosi) held him back from drifting a little more right. His social ranking is based on typical GOP values, but he was suppressed from ranking along with Romney for his more liberal positions on immigration, as well as his personal life.
Gary Johnson (L): It’s easy to figure out where Johnson stands. Does it make individuals more free? If it does, Johnson is for it. Whether it is taxes, or toking, Johnson is all about civil liberties and economic freedom. This is why he fits in the lower right corner.
Barack Obama (D): Obama the candidate is much different than Obama the president. While Obama’s liberal economic policies have followed to fruition, his social agenda has failed to live up to the hype. Obama has failed to deliver on restoring civil liberties, advancing gay rights, ending the drug war, or even ending an aggressive US foreign policy.
Ron Paul (R): Paul is the closest Republican to the former Republican Gary Johnson. Paul is the GOP’s longtime fiscal hawk. And, along with this civil libertarian positions on constitutional rights, he’s also lower on the social scale. However, Paul’s anti-free trade positions (which reflects in his immigration positions), and his pro-life views, cause him to rank higher on the social scale than Johnson.
Mitt Romney (R): Romney’s business background gives him private sector executive experience few other candidates have. However, his political positions have wavered since he ran as a moderate candidate in Massachusetts, and now as a conservative in the GOP primary. His “Romneycare” plan holds him back on the “X” axis.
Rick Santorum (R): Santorum’s time in the Senate during the Bush administration showed his philosophical predisposition to “government solutions” for societal problems. And, despite his more conservative rhetoric during the 2012 primary contest, those votes can’t be overlooked. Most notable is Santorum’s high social scale ranking, which is because of his strong positions against individual choice when it comes to social issues.