Updating the Enhanced Precision Political Quiz

Over 18000 People Have Taken the Version 7 of the Quiz

After a few months leaving things alone, I have finally gotten around to  tabulating the latest results from Version 7 of the Quiz (released in August 2012). A quick look at a scatter plot indicates that the Quiz is now reasonably normalized:

Yes, there is a cluster in the Libertarian quadrant, but this is to be expected for several reasons:

  1. The Nolan Chart does look at the political map from a libertarian perspective. Libertarianism thus shows up as the most coherent ideology by this mapping.
  2. The libertarian movement has done the most to promote quizzes such as this, so more of the takers of this quiz have been prompted to do so by libertarians. Indeed, the earliest links to this site were Libertarian Party affiliates.
  3. Political quiz takers in general will tend to be taken more by those unhappy with the two major party offerings.
  4. A sizable fraction of the traffic today comes from school sites. Young people destined to become Republicans tend to score more libertarian than conservative. Whether they will become more socially conservative as they grow older remains to be seen.

Then again, it is possible that libertarianism — broadly defined — is a growing faction in this country and currently underrepresented in our legislatures. Given the non random nature of this data sample, the scatter plot above should not be taken as strong evidence for this assertion, though.

The more detailed statistics, however, should be more useful for determining how libertarian young and/or independent voters are willing to be. (They can be used as for how conservative, liberal, communitarian, etc.) There is significant clustering in the center of the graph, so the specific answers may reveal some deal-killers for all factions.

The strongest smaller-government signal is for the issue of marijuana legalization. 60% of the quiz takers say we should legalize marijuana outright. Another 18% believe we should make marijuana less illegal than it is today, either by decriminalizing recreational use or by making medical marijuana legal.

On the other hand 56% of the Quiz takers believe we should continue keep our laws against harder drugs and/or increase enforcement. This is despite the fact that the Quiz grants users many incremental options between the status quo and outright legalization.

The strongest signal for bigger government comes from the Public Education question. There is strong support for increasing public school funding and graduate school educations for teachers. A mere 16.6% of takers favor some form of school privatization (vouchers, tax credits or simple public school abolition). Those who favor school choice have an uphill battle, at least with the Quiz2D demographic (which includes many students currently in public schools).

A few more highlights:

  • ObamaCare and/or outright socialized medicine has strong support.
  • Nearly 40% of Quiz takers believe we should legalize prostitution.
  • The Second Amendment still has strong support, though nearly a quarter of the takers believe we should have stronger background checks for pistols and semi-automatic rifles.
  • Over half the takers believe in some additional immigration restrictions.
  • There is a strong sentiment towards scaling back or privatizing Social Security over time.

Peruse the statistics yourself.





Housing Crisis

I guess I should have a question related to the current recession. Lots of options here. Could talk about banking and money, regulating the financial system or possible bailouts of homeowners who bought at the peak of the housing bubble.  Banking has lots of gradations of libertarian answers, but what could I put for authoritarianContinue Reading

War on Terror

War is the health of the State — except where it is the death of the State.  That exception thingy is why I have avoided the foreign intervention issue in prior editions of the Quiz. Taking out Hitler was good for liberty — but the process required quite a bit of death and taxes. ForContinue Reading

Where I Stand

In the interest of full disclosure, I just took Version 7 of the Quiz to see where I stand as currently calibrated. Here is where I came out:   Maybe I should relabel this Leff-Leaning Moderate Libertarian. But since I don’t use “Moderate” for conservatives and liberals at this distance from the center, I mayContinue Reading

Version 7 is Up!

At long last Version 7 of Quiz2D is up and running! As I write this I have just put the fifth draft up on the site. (The fifth draft has an added question on abortion.) I write this post both as a quick announcement and as a placeholder for general comments on the new edition.Continue Reading


Immigration is a somewhat ambiguous issue on the Nolan Chart. Cracking down on immigration definitely requires government action — huge amounts of intrusive government action to deport illegal immigrants not caught at the border. But given the existence of the welfare state and minimum wages laws, granting amnesty and/or opening the floodgates would require expandingContinue Reading

Public Education

Over the years I have come across more authoritarian options to make the public schools better than I was aware of last time around: longer school hours, year around schools, uniforms, advanced degrees for school teachers, etc. As such, I think it wise to narrow the Education question to just primary education. Leave college outContinue Reading


Should I keep the censorship question? It seems dated with cable TV and the Internet as options. If you want to see it, you pretty much can these days. In fact you can see it even if you don’t want to. The main calls for censorship I see currently are people complaining about non-media corporationsContinue Reading


My old sex question is really dated — it references the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal. Sodomy and fornication laws are no longer enforced. Whether or not prostitution should be legal is relevant, but what do I put in for authoritarian options? In the comments below, I would really appreciate some ideas here. Should I keep the sexContinue Reading

Free Trade

Adam Smith and David Ricardo made a very powerful case against mercantilism, Ricardo going so far as to do a mathematical proof. Yet mercantilist China is fast becoming the world’s economic superpower. Free trade U.S. is in danger of becoming a has been power. Yes, one can blame overregulation, deficit spending, and perhaps vulture capitalismContinue Reading