Last week NPR ran a story on “Applebee’s America”, a book on the way politicians brand and sell themselves to the voting public. One thing they brought up was “microtargeting” or “lifetargeting.” The idea is that you can take a person’s lifestyle and determine which way they’re more likely to vote, then send targeted advertising to people who are most likely to be persuaded.

There’s a link to a quiz on the website. It decided I was solidly Republican. (Hey, I might vote for a Republican someday if they ever run a less reprehensible candidate for something. [Update 2024: they’ve gotten so much worse.]) It took flipping four of the twelve answers before it decided I might be a swing voter.

Either the scoring system is reversed, or they need a new quiz.

5 thoughts on “Maybe not as good a predictor as they think

  1. Yeah, this is a really stupid test. My answer to “audi or saab” and “coors or bud” is NO. Same for the one about sports (I don’t even remember which sports were listed). And if I were a complete teetotaller the scotch/bourbon/gin/vodka question would be out too.

    Given the simplicity of the questioning mechanism, this test really can’t be taken seriously (which you know already if you’ve taken it and found the results don’t match your voting behavior).

    • I hope the classification systems used for actually targeting people are a bit more sophisticated. The quiz basically takes the “latte = liberal” stereotype and generalizes it to “coffee = liberal, tea = conservative”

  2. Hehehe.

    I’m a swing voter. Guess it’s all those Monster Truck rallies.

    I can’t believe they use questions like “coors or bud”. And why should any woman have to choose between single malt scotch and a vodka martini.

    Simply uncivilized.

    • I can’t believe they use questions like “coors or bud”

      Yeah, this is a political quiz! One of the choices should’ve been Sam Adams!

      • Yes. Our first work function where we were allowed beer the question was Anchor Steam or Sam Adams? Bay Area geeks, and geeks in general were sorely underrepresented.

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