Ranking the Presidential Candidates


With a crowded field of candidates vying for the Republican and Democratic nominations to be the next President of the United States, more people are seeing the value of ranking the candidates, including smart presentation of second-choices by Public Policy Polling.

Earlier this year, FairVote and Civinomics released an app that allows users to rank the candidates in either the Republican field or the Democratic field, as well as rank the parties themselves. Voters can view results and eliminate candidates one-by-one to see where those candidates' second-choice support lies to get a better sense of who the strongest candidates really are. The results are weighted to reflect national preferences based on scientific polling, so they likely reflect national sentiment. 

The results are illuminating. For example, although Donald Trump continues to poll higher than any Republican in first-choice support (at about 24%), he lacks broad appeal and easily loses to either Ben Carson or Carly Fiorina as other candidates drop out. With ranked choice voting, the picture is both fuller and more clear.