Wednesday, November 2, 2016

2016 Presidential Election Scoring

See my last post for extensive detail on how I'm scoring candidates.  The values won't make sense without knowing the available ranges.  This post is just to apply it to the 2016 Presidential Election.  It's way too much effort to write up the results of the smaller races.  I'm going to start with approximate values and then see if I need to go into more detail.

Result: Evan McMullin. That was a very unexpected result from a year ago, and Hillary Clinton put up a good fight.

Donald Trump

Electability: 1
Gut Feeling: -50
Faith: 0. His behavior on many levels is far outside obedience to Christ.

Personal Virtue

I don't think this requires much explanation. He treats everyone badly, won't stay married, has no fear of God, and thinks he has all the answers. I'm not even going to bother finding sources.

Confidence on this score: 100%. If anything, it's too good a score.


I'm trying to be generous. His business experience is probably good enough to provide some amount of ability compromise and some good experience... even though everything he portrays is exactly the opposite. Similarly, he must have good leadership underneath him, making good decisions, for the businesses to be doing any good, so I gave him roughly 50% scores in each category. None of it comes out in his public persona.
I'm grading him separately on abortion as I know his opinion has flipped dramatically.

Taking some serious shortcuts, assuming the best possible scores in each category except for religious freedom and immigration, where his statements to deport all Muslims and illegal immigrants will give him the worst possible scores on religious freedom and immigration. As the virtue confidence score is 100%, it will have no effect here.

Total Score

Donald Trump is disqualified with a negative score. A very negative one at that.  Even if I'd valued his policies a lot higher, it wouldn't change anything.

Hillary Clinton

Electability: 1
Gut Feeling: -30
Faith: 0. Between it being an intentionally high standard, a key theological misspeak, and how private she keeps it, I'm not prepared to give her the all-or-nothing points.

Personal Virtue

I found Hillary Clinton difficult to judge on character. Maybe it's just that I don't have much experience doing this, and Donald Trump made it easy. I don't know. She doesn't come across as a bad person, but I still have some concerns. Her position on abortion does hurt her respect for all human life. Her response to her husband's affairs is troubling. She's shown great restraint in her debates with Trump, not returning his insults. I think she is truly here for the public, not herself, but her character does still make me nervous. It feels like she might be lying sometimes.  I know that's subjective.  Values aren't perfect, but they're a start. We'll see if the third party candidates force more detail or not.

Confidence on this score: 60%


It looks like she stands a good chance at being able to compromise and work across the aisle. Her experience is unrivaled in my memory, and I'd be surprised if she doesn't take advice. Certainly she has connections. Small deduction for possible inconsistency.  I know there was some change around marriage at some point.

On abortion I see a few slightly good signs, but on the whole it seems clear we're on very different pages.  Not quite the worst score possible, but close. On poverty, she seems genuinely concerned, and had concrete plans to address it. Housing seems like a reasonable place to start. She seems concerned about immigration and specifically addressed keeping families together and comprehensive reform. Her statements on criminal justice reform also express both good desires and some promising plans, including working on mandatory minimum sentences and focusing on violent crime. I didn't dig too hard, but saw conflicting opinions on where she is with a balanced budget. Again, I didn't research it, but have heard frequent concern about her respect for the Constitution, so I'm giving medium negative points there. She loses most, but not all, of the religious liberty points. I'm getting mixed signals on privacy, so no points. Without researching too much, it kind of looks like we'll disagree at least somewhat on the military's role in the world.

Total Score

Positive score makes her eligible, and uncontested so far.

Gary Johnson

Electability: 0.5. I've seen decent media coverage. His current poll percentage would give roughly 0.2, but at its height it was also around 0.5.
Gut Feeling: 20
Faith: 0. Not an active churchgoer, and prays "once in a while".

Personal Virtue

This is getting harder to judge as the candidates become less visible.  The subpieces of the equation are just going to have to be thrown out.  But I will say I haven't run into anything published that's particularly negative on Johnson's character, and will agree with the author of this piece that taking the time, in an event, to engage in a complex issue with a nobody speaks volumes about his priorities and willingness to learn.  He seems honest and humble at least.  However, he has the same abortion strike that Hillary does.  And he divorced his longtime wife for another woman.  So... 200? Certainly not much higher.
Confidence on this score: 50%


I'm largely assuming the best and we'll go back and adjust as needed. He was the governor of New Mexico, and it wasn't disastrous enough to keep him from running, so I'm assuming decent bipartisanship and thoughtfulness. However, Aleppo raises concerns about his experience.

I think this will become clear quickly, so I'm mostly just going off of On the Issues for positions without being too analytical. If +/- 20 points matters, we'll revisit it. Abortion: -20, as he at least won't make it any worse.

Total Score

Barely beats Hillary Clinton, so close I might need to reevaluate

Jill Stein

Electability: 0.1. The media is showing her score, which would get her just under 0.1 on its own, but nothing more. She's not going to win any states at her current levels.
Maximum possible score:

Loses to Gary Johnson and Hillary Clinton

Evan McMullin

Electability: 0.25. He has a good chance at winning Utah.
Gut Feeling: 40
Faith: 0. Mormon, and I do find that outside the bounds of Christianity.

Personal Virtue

Again, very hard to tell, so a lowish confidence score of 40%.  But I'm going to give him a good score of 400, or 80%, based on two things.  The Mormons are rallying around him, and the Mormons usually live exemplary lives that put the Christians to shame.  It's embarrassing, really.  He did his missionary service.  Second, this report took the time to analyze three years of Facebook posts: How McMullin's behaving in his personal life when not on the national stage.  It rated him "a very good man" and didn't mention anything objectionable.  (I doubt he went back and cleaned it up too much given how recent his candidacy began.)


Not enough information to judge effectiveness, so I'll give him 0.35 in line with Gary Johnson. He does deserve a hit on experience, as I see little that would be helpful.

I'm mostly just going off of his website for positions without being too analytical. If +/- 20 points matters, we'll revisit it.  There was very little information on abortion, and I was unconvinced how much he was really addressing poverty

Total Score

Beats both Hillary Clinton and Gary Johnson. It's enough of a lead that a couple tens of points on his policies isn't going to matter. Given that he's a near-perfect policy match and my gut feeling choice, I'm not going to reanalyze. Looks like he'll win! (Utah, maybe, anyway.)

Anybody else

Electability: Maximum of 0.1, which I think would only go to Castle and Kotlikoff
Maximum possible score:

Loses to Evan McMullin

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