GOP Primary 2016: Venn diagram edition!

Nate Silver (yes, I know…) has an excellent post today assessing Senator Rand Paul’s chances in a 2016 Republican primary (spoiler: not great, but not terrible). Yes, it’s early. But there’s a Venn diagram! And we all know a political nerd can’t resist a Venn diagram. Silver uses it to portray the conflicting but overlapping ideological (and non-ideological) groups that makeup the Republican coalition.

It’s obviously simplified of course, and the different groups and their members are fluid and ever-changing in today’s instant media cycle. But it’s a useful generalization of what we’re currently working with. So while Silver describes Rand and other candidates in terms of these intra-party groups, I felt the urge to pin them down to a particular spot on the diagram using my epic photoshop skills.

NOTE: I had trouble placing a couple of these due to the inherent limitations of the static Venn diagram format. For example, Jindal is a reformer to be sure, but he’s not at all a moderate, so he probably fits more in the religious and Tea Party spheres, even though he was elected long before the Tea Party movement started. But that’s what the comment section is for. Also, I don’t think all these guys will run, and others will that we don’t know about yet, but they’re who we’re talking about, so I included them.

Agree? Disagree? What would you change? Does where your preferred candidate fall on the diagram match your own estimation of where you fall as well? Do you find yourself drawn to a candidate outside your own sphere, or questioning your choice of a candidate who’s too far away? With more than three years before any votes are cast in the 2016 primary, candidates have plenty of time to shift, and we have plenty of time to decide.

2 thoughts on “GOP Primary 2016: Venn diagram edition!

  1. I largely agree with your placement of all the candidates. I might have put Scott Walker in the Tea Party / Libertarian group as opposed to the religious conservative group. But I don't have much knowledge of Walker's non-union policy stances, and he may have a social con record I don't know about. PS – Photoshopping is FUN. Great diagram.


  2. I thought of putting him at least partially in the Reformer axis, but for this: I'm guessing he doesn't want to talk about it because his stance is the unpopular one right now.I think he'll likely come around in the next couple years, as others have recently, but until then, he's much more Tea Party than libertarian.Thanks for the comment!


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