This is not a post expressing any particular political viewpoint. Here is the question: Is it always best to vote for who you actually like best in the primary elections?
Consider the following scenario. I use real names, but the ratings are made up just for this problem and do not reflect mine or Lance's opinions.
Say you rank the current candidates in the following order with the following scores on a 10 point scale:
- Obama: 8.8 (acceptable) Democrat
- McCain: 7.8 (acceptable) Republican
- Paul: 7.5 (acceptable) Republican
- Clinton: 7.0 (acceptable) Democrat
- Edwards: 6.8 (acceptable) Democrat
- Thompson: 6.0 (not acceptable) Republican
- Huckabee: 5.8 (not acceptable) Republican
- Romney: 5.0 (not acceptable) Republican
Given all of this data, who should you vote for? Can this problem be made rigorous and solved? Of course, the really hard part in the real world might be getting those numbers. And you may have other reasons to vote, as shown by this ad: