Online Tool Matches Local Voters with Ideal Presidential Candidate

This free, online quiz takes an in-depth look at your stance on a range of issues, then compares them to candidates' responses.

The selection of U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan as Republican candidate Mitt Romney's running mate has put the presidential race back on the front burner in California.

And, based on the conversations we're seeing on Patch, there are a wide variety of issues that concern readers in San Mateo and elsewhere when it comes to who will end up in the White House.

But, do you really know which presidential candidate best matches your stance on those issues? 

A new website launched earlier this year that aims to help match up voters with their ideal candidate, and it's quickly gaining popularity through social media channels.

In fact, according to iSideWith.com's homepage, more than a million people have taken the free quiz to determine their ideal candidate since it launched in March.

The quiz covers everything from social issues to foreign policy, and answers can be fine-tuned - you can choose general or more detailed responses, and a scale allows you to set the level of importance for each issue.

Your responses are then analyzed to determine your ideal candidate, complete with a breakdown of your response matches.

Among the people who took the quiz in California, their positions matched President Barack Obama's 55 percent of the time — more than any other candidate. Californians' views matched Green Party candidate Jill Stein 48 percent of the time, and Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson's positions 47 percent of the time. GOP candidate Ron Paul came in with 38 percent of Californians matching his positions.

And what about Romney? Just 32 percent of Californians who took the quiz said they sided with Romney, but did not specify any key issues.

Seems to be a pretty handy tool - but does it work? You tell us. Take the free quiz on iSideWith.com and let us know what you think. Is the candidate it matched you with the candidate you plan to vote for?


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