Who Will You Vote For? Use These Surveys to Help You Decide

This morning’s “How to Organize Your Survey” articles is being preempted by some timely information that you may be interested in BEFORE you vote.

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It’s the Monday before election day.  I live in Ohio and I’m an undecided voter.  If you live anywhere else, you can’t even begin to imagine the annoyance and imposition an election year brings to our everyday lives:

  • I get anywhere from 10-15 robocalls a day – who all leave long and annoying (and mean) messages on my answering machine.
  • People come to my door and try to convert me to whichever candidate they are supporting.
  • My mailbox is FILLED with giant full-color printed postcards with nasty messages about the other candidate.

Can you really choose a candidate by answering survey questions?

Needless to say, I’m frustrated by the entire process – especially since I’m more interested in choosing a candidate that represents me and my views rather than choosing a candidate based on advertising or party affiliation.    Well, dear readers — there are SURVEYS for that!

The League of Women Voters is well known for their unbiased information gathering on issues and candidates.  I’ve never really taken a close look, but this year I headed over to their main site to take a peek.  All you need to do is enter your address and zip code and they will route you to a page that contains all the voting info that is relevant to you.

Now, I want to show you some of the surveys I took to help me choose a candidate — WARNING – your results may surprise you!

VoteSmart.org

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This was so much fun to do!  Across the top you see a selection of issues ranging from Afghanistan to Taxes.  When you click on the tab you get asked two questions:

  • How you would vote an an issues (basic yes/no)
  • How important that issue is to you

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As you go through the process, the candidates pictures move forward and backwards as their opinions match yours on the issues.

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Pro-Con.org – 2012 Election

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On the ProCon site you can select the “Find Your Match” button and go through a similar series of questions:

You’ll see your results tabulated along the way and they will look like this –

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This is an interesting approach because as you answer all those questions (and there are many of them) you’ll see how each candidate answered them as well and the degree to which they agree with your own point of view.

Minnesota Public Radio’s Select a Candidate

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This is MPR’s (Minnesota Public Radio) survey that also helps you select a candidate.  In this case, they give you a an issue and then give you a choice of several stances on the issue.  Your job is to pick the one that most closely matches your opinion.  In this case too, you get to choose how important that issue is to you as you consider a candidate.

Here is what the MPR Results looks like

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In the MPR results, you’ll see that they list each of the issues and outline where you agree with the candidates stance (green check) and where you disagree with the candidates (red x).

What you can learn from these kinds of surveys

I’m always saying that you should use online surveys to help you make decisions.  yet, when it comes to structuring the survey, we often get lost in the weeds of it all.  When you think about why that is — it’s often because we aren’t as EMOTIONAL about many of our corporate decisions.

Using the examples I’ve shared with you today – you will begin to see some examples of surveys that are purely designed to help you decide.  If you take the time to complete them, you can see where some are weak and where others are strong.  Using those insights, you can start structuring your survey in a way that will be most useful to you and to your audience.