With over a dozen candidates officially declared for 2016, it's tough to keep track of where everyone stands. Just how liberal are Hillary Clinton's policies compared with those of her fellow Democratic candidates? Which GOP hopefuls can claim to be "true conservatives"? Who are the moderates? Who holds the most extreme views?
In order to visualize every candidate in one chart, we compiled data from On the Issues, which collects "votes, excerpts from speeches, press releases, and so on" to score candidates across a variety of issues, from individual rights to economic policies.
We then converted those scores to a single spectrum from -10 (most liberal) to +10 (most conservative), using visualization tools from InsideGov. Here's what we found:
Hillary Clinton winds up a bit more liberal than average for a Democratic candidate, though Bernie Sanders would be the most left-leaning choice among Democrats. The Green Party's Jill Stein would make for the most liberal president of all.
On the conservative side, Chris Christie is clearly the most moderate, while Ted Cruz has the most legitimate claim to the "true conservative" title.
But a single score can sometimes be misleading, particularly for candidates who hold more nuanced views in specific categories. The following chart breaks out each candidate's score in four key categories.
With the specific issues broken out, we see that the Democrats tend to hold consistently liberal views, though Jim Webb and Martin O'Malley are a bit more conservative on defense and international issues.
Things get more complicated on the conservative side. Christie actually scores slightly liberal on domestic and individual rights issues, but his solidly conservative views on economics contribute to an overall score that's right of center.
Predictably, Rand Paul is the most polarized, with heavily liberal views on defense contrasted with staunchly conservative views on individual rights.
Finally, we see that Marco Rubio and Cruz are the most consistently conservative, each scoring a +5 or higher across every individual category.
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