Saturday, December 3, 2011

Comparing the Candidates' Platforms

GOP Candidates at the CNN Debate, Source: NY Times (linked)

I decided to spend an evening comparing the different platforms of each of the GOP Candidates. I should have known better than to be as surprised as I was at the complete and total similarities between their stances on the issues. I thought a chart would really make it clear who is different and who is the same on certain policies. You'll note I left out Herman Cain. I'm assuming he will be dropping out of the race today anyway, but even if he doesn't, you'll recall yesterday I decided "anybody but Cain" was my stance. He doesn't get to be on my chart!

I made this chart. Any mistakes made were unintentional. All data gathered from candidates' websites.

Ron Paul definitely goes his own way on a few of his own personal initiatives. But other than that, and everyone's differing views on China, nearly all of their platforms are identical.
It is very interesting to note that Mitt Romney's platform is absolutely by far the most elaborate and well laid out. Hundreds of pages on job and tax reform plans. And I do mean HUNDREDS of pages! In comparison, I distinctly left Santorum off of my chart, because his official website doesn't have his platform listed (beyond being pro-life).
I strongly suspect that many of the blank spots above are probably also similar. I limited myself to what information I could find specifically on the candidate's websites, and not in news articles. (I like to hear it straight from the horse's mouth.) So for all I know Ron Paul could be for expediting fracking, but since I didn't find it on his official site, I don't have it checked here. Same with creating an oil partnership with Canada- Huntsman has it well laid out, but no one else does. Although, again, I suspect everyone but Ron Paul is in favor of it.
I do recall hearing in a debate that everyone had very different opinions on relations with China. However, only Gingrich and Romney mention it on their websites, and they are on opposite ends of the spectrum. It is significant to note that this is the only strong difference between the two men. Well, that and the fact that Gingrich's plan for reforms is to "ask the public" what they want changed and how they would change it, as his first act as president. Whereas, Romney has volumes of information on not just what he would change, but how he would change it.


  1. Paul wants to end Obamacare. He is also is pro free trade but against "managed trade" which is what the real policy is, so I think some of your data points are misleading.

  2. When making this chart I found it difficult to fit Ron Paul in with the other candidates. Yes, is for free trade, but not in the same way the other candidates are. In nearly every instance, I found that I could put an asterisk next to him and explain that he is the "same same but different" (to borrow a popular Asian to English expression).
    And yes, he does want to end Obamacare. That was an oversight on my part. I apologize. It was about 2 am when I finally finished this, and I'm not surprised I missed a check mark.

  3. As always I still lean heavily Ron Paul.


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