HANDICAPPING THE DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES….Via Julian Sanchez, here’s a genuinely interesting little internet poll: you answer some questions about your policy preferences and it tells you which presidential candidates match your views most closely. Here are my results (restricted to major party candidates):

1. Kucinich, Cong. Dennis, OH – Democrat (87%)
2. Kerry, Senator John, MA – Democrat (76%)
3. Dean, Gov. Howard, VT – Democrat (67%)
4. Lieberman Senator Joe CT – Democrat (66%)
5. Gephardt, Cong. Dick, MO – Democrat (66%)
6. Sharpton, Reverend Al – Democrat (65%)
7. Edwards, Senator John, NC – Democrat (61%)
8. Graham, Senator Bob, FL – Democrat (50%)
9. Moseley-Braun, Former Senator Carol IL – Democrat (44%)
10. Bush, George W. – US President (15%)

That’s interesting. Pragmatist that I am, I don’t really care how much I agree with Kucinich since I don’t think he has a chance of winning either the nomination or the election, but the fact that John Kerry is the highest ranked of the major candidates makes me think I need to take a little closer look at him, even though he doesn’t do much for me personally. At the same time, the candidates ranked #3-7 are bunched so closely that from a personal policy preference point of view there probably isn’t much real difference between them.

All the usual caveats about internet surveys apply here, of course, and I don’t know how accurate this one really is. However, I did have to shake my head at this question:

4. Federal funding of “corporate welfare”, which has been defined as “special government subsidies or benefits that are targeted to specific industries or businesses” should be (a) increased or (b) decreased.

Who’s going to answer “increased” to a question worded like that?

And finally, what’s up with the 15% of issues that I supposedly agree with George Bush on? I wish the survey told me which issues those were so that I could be sure and change my mind about them….

UPDATE: It’s worth mentioning that a high ranking for a candidate isn’t necessarily a good thing here. I want a candidate who can win, and I’m well aware that my political views are pretty far from the political center. In that sense, the fact that Kerry matches my views so closely might actually mean he’s less electable than people think.

UPDATE 2: Based on comments, it looks like something may be a bit fishy with this poll. Kucinich seems to come out awfully high for practically anyone to the left of George Bush, so the test might be skewed in his favor somehow. Take it with a grain of salt.