Politics Plotted @Politicon
We spent the weekend in Music City (Nashville, TN) at Politicon, which is “The Unconventional Political Convention”. Politicon brings together a diverse group of political opinions in attendees, speakers and exhibitors which made for some great conversations!
As some of you may have read before we wanted to do a social experiment and plot the politics of as many attendees as we possibly could! We got many people to download the app, find their voter registration and answer at least 8 policy questions so that we could plot them in our policy matrix. The experiment was successful as we got hundreds of people to participate. The matrix below shows what the politics of Politicon looks like:
You can see blue dots (Democrats) mostly on the left side of the political spectrum and the red dots (Republicans) mostly on the right side. Then, we can see yellow dots (independents) everywhere, just like the grey dots (any other party and any anonymous entries).
We learned a few very interesting things from our time with this diverse group!
- Everyone is excited about voter turnout. While it may sometimes feel like a partisan issue we spoke with Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Libertarians, Green Party and more and everyone we spoke with at Politicon was interested in getting as many people to participate in our elections as possible!
- Independents are found all across the political spectrum, not just in the center.
We can see that there are Independents (shown in yellow) who are liberal, conservative and somewhere in between. They are just as passionate about voting, and advocate strongly for their own participation in primaries.
- What does that matrix mean? The most common question people asked was about the matrix, and what exactly their positioning meant? So lets start small and think only about 3 of the categories that our policy questions covered::
For each category (Individual Rights, Veterans, Foreign Policy, Taxes, etc) we know for how much it moves someone left to right or up and down. In the case above we see that Topic B is the biggest factor in the left / right positioning whereas Topic A has the biggest effect up / down and topic C is what causes a small adjustment. This is just a simple example.
If we look at all 17 categories that play a role in determining someone’s policy position, this is what it looks like:
For the Politicon matrix, what this means is that Infrastructure, Trade & Housing are the biggest factors that move someone up vs down. Most other topics have mostly a “left-to-right” effect, where some have effect on the up-and-down direction as well. The longer the arrow, the bigger the difference in opinions among our participants, while the smaller the arrow, the smaller the differences were. We can see we agree on Foreign Policy, Individual Rights & the Environment.
- Money is bi-partisan. We loved meeting our 4 lucky winners of the contest, who each took $200 home (or spent it on Broadway in Nashville for drinks, dinner and live music).
We had a great time. We learned that there is more that brings us together than tears us apart. We also saw many great conversations between various perspectives throughout the weekend – but what we saw the most was a group of people who all love America.