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Survey: How do Romney and Obama rank on your issues?

April 20, 2012|By Jon Healey
  • Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and President Obama.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and President Obama. (AFP / Getty Images )

This post has been updated, as indicated below.

A recent telephone poll by the Wall Street Journal and NBC News asked voters to rank President Obama and his presumptive GOP opponent, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, on a number of personal factors, such as likability and concern for the middle class. The findings showed that voters favored Obama on far more of the factors than Romney, although a large percentage of the voters were undecided.

The poll was probably done in a statistically defensible fashion, but the questions it posed seemed to leave too much open to interpretation. For instance, it asked which of the two would be "a good commander-in-chief," without suggesting what that meant. Would a good commander in chief pull U.S. troops out of Afghanistan ASAP on the theory that the situation there will never improve, or would he stick it out until the Taliban sued for peace?

I can't conduct a statistically defensible poll, but I can come up with less wishy-washy survey questions. So here it is, fellow registered voters. Take a couple of minutes to rank Obama and Romney according to the 15 carefully selected, completely unambiguous factors I chose, with the help of my colleague Paul Whitefield. The survey closes Monday afternoon, so get cracking! And tell your friends, because their opinions matter almost as much as yours.

[Updated 1:37 p.m., April 20: Come back to Opinion L.A. Monday afternoon for the results!]

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