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It Takes Minutes to Judge the Candidates

March 21, 2016

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It takes a few minutes to judge the candidates.  How can you find the candidate who supports those issues that are important to you?  Fortunately for us, different political and activist organizations rated the candidates using different methods and different priorities.  We can look at these organizations and use their rank or records to choose between candidates.  Voting records are important since talk is cheap.  Candidates often say one thing and vote another.

confused womanTalk is cheap.  As voters, are we going to study the candidates, or are we going to vote based on how the candidate sounded during a 15 second sound bite?  It is easy to sway voters if we are only going to spend half a minute to judge a candidate.  We’re lucky that most politicians have a voting record that goes back many years.

Today we are rating the raters rather than the candidates.  Here are the criteria that each group uses to judge the politicians.  Note that using political voting records can give an existing candidate a big advantage over a challenger, or a candidates voting record can be a huge liability if the politician said one thing and voted another.  Look to local sources to rate your state and local candidates.

Any candidate can vote for large government and to give away more of our money.  Vote for the candidate who went against the trend and tried to make government smaller.  Here are the standards that were used to rate the candidates.  Unfortunately, some organizations rate some politicians but not others.

Heritage Foundation grades many conservative issues, both large and small.  Their scorecard includes a candidate’s votes, a candidate’s co-sponsorship of bills, and their other legislative activity in committee.  Heritage gives the candidate credit for all their political activities.
Freedom Works ranks politicians based on their voting record for lower taxes, less government and more freedom.  A high score indicates a consistent voting record supporting economic freedom.
Conservative Review ranks politicians based on 50 key votes to compute a Liberty Score.  Thousands of votes are collected for the Candidate’s Profile.  You can search how the candidate voted based on your key issues.
Conservative Voting Records and their Madison Project compares a politician’s voting record to the conservative bent of their district.  Was the politician more conservative or more liberal than the voters who elected him?
Club for Growth compiles the voting record of congressmen and senators.  Key bills are selected based on economic growth, reducing the size of government, lowering taxes and decreasing regulations.  You can view the politician’s score, how they rank against other legislators, and the details of each vote.
Wall Builders has their own list of voter guides based on religious principles.
Project Vote Smart lists a politicians votes, his stated positions, and his sources of funding.
Gun Owners of America endorses select candidates in state and federal races.  The endorsements are visible to the general public.
Gun Voter uses local input to rate the candidates’ positions in federal, state and local races across the country.
National Rifle Association grades candidates based on their voting record and candidate survey forms.  The candidate information is available to NRA members only.
National Right to Life ranks congressmen and senators based on their votes for pro-life bills.

You know more than I do.  What national organizations would you add?


6 Comments leave one →
  1. March 21, 2016 10:24 am

    Perfect timing, Rob! Today I am submitting a blog for WON in which I give a How-To Checklist for voting…and I have hyperlinked this article into the text! Thanks for sharing this today!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. March 22, 2016 7:35 am

    Nobody votes for smaller government, the best we’ve been able to observe is votes for less bigger government. The difference is the Dems tell you they’re going to vote for bigger government and do it, the Repubs tell you they will vote for smaller government but don’t.

    Each of these raters perform an evaluation based on a set of criteria, but possibly the one you’ve got listed that is most “flexible” is the NRA. The candidate ratings are more flexible than a Bill Clinton political position. Their criteria for races is dubious and how they evaluate candidates is not consistent.

    There are a scores of state level grass roots organizations supporting 2nd Amendment interests across the country; groups that are not affiliated with the NRA and do excellent work at defending individual liberty. has a good representation of them listed

    The best decision is the one you make for yourself. Be informed, but don’t let others do your thinking for you.


    • March 22, 2016 2:17 pm

      ‘.. the Dems tell you they’re going to vote for bigger government and do it, the Repubs tell you they will vote for smaller government but don’t.”

      Very well said, David.



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