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Campaign 2016: Left vs. Right, Favorable vs. Unfavorable

It annoys me when transparently partisan people put forth arguments and charts that supposedly show unbiased data, but in fact show a fully skewed view of the issue at hand. In the context of an argument about how both major U.S. nominees for president were largely similar, policy-wise--and that Bernie Sanders (or a third party candidate) was distinctly different--I was confronted by a chart of this particular type, and it seemed so illogical (and presented without provenance) that I had to create my own, based on the most nonpartisan data I could find.

The chart above shows the favorability and liberal-to-conservative rankings of all 2016 primary contenders, plus Gary Johnson and Jill Stein (the two most well-known third-party candidates) The interactive is here, but there's really nothing particularly interactive about it. I'd link to, or show, the chart that kicked off this effort, but the guy who posted it has since taken down the entire thread. (I can tell you that I determined after some research that it was the "political compass," a chart type widely suspected to be created and promoted by a Libertarian political commentator in the U.K. Not a non-partisan chart, but also not completely congruent to the one I was able to create from outside data. However, I felt that including popularity as one axis would demonstrate the point equally well: Sanders is very close, ideologically, to Clinton, and far from Trump--only their popularity marks are different.


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