How to bias Quizzes

Select a Candidate 2008:

The WQAD candidate survey is based on the original SELECT A CANDIDATE survey developed by Minnesota Public Radio

But leaves out a bunch of the longer, more thoughtful questions, as you can see here

MPR: Select a Candidate 2008: President:

Please answer the following questions. If no answer is acceptable to you, leave it unanswered.

It also reorders a bunch of the potential answers in a way that might seem to some suspiciously like a push poll. But on closer examination, the answers seem to biased because they’re taken from the candidates’ public positions on the issues, which make Dorothy Parker’s “gamut from A to B” look positively diverse.  For example, there seems to be no one who thinks that we should do anything about immigration that doesn’t include beefing up the current security regime, which includes stop-and-search of whatever car the ICE folks want up to 200 miles from a border (which is to say, about half the country).

There’s also the problem that many of the yes/no questions don’t really admit of yes/no answers. The death penalty as a punishment for particular crimes? Maybe. For the crime of being innocent and having a lousy lawyer, or being mentally retarded or psychotic, or killing a victim the state cares about? Maybe not. Subsidies for biofuels made from sustainable nonfood sources? Sure. Subsidies for assholes to bid up the price of corn so that some people don’t eat as well? I don’t think so.

Blah blah blah.


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