US public opinion according to the Bing Political Index

by Sep 8, 2016Elections0 comments

Search engine Bing has come up with a tool that shows where each candidate stands on an issue, and the corresponding public opinion on that issue.

According to Bing, this political index has been designed by the Bing Predicts team, with the support of OnTheIssues. Although not many issues made the list, the ones that were used are the most popular ones: education, environmental issues, tax reform, abortion, gun control, immigration reform, drug policy, LGBT rights, health care and Social Security.

We took a  look at the individual opinions of the candidates as provided by the Bing Political Index and how they relate the US Public opinion. The political index does not clearly give us what the candidate believes, rather it gives us whether his/her opinion is progressive or conservative. The index uses 0 as the neutral point. Later, each candidate is assigned progressive or conservative based on their stance. Finally, a number between 0 and 100 is assigned. The higher the number is more extreme their opinion is. For example, a Progressive 90 would be a very-liberal approach and Conservative 90 would be a very-conservative approach.

There are two points about this data that are noteworthy. First, we can see that US public opinion is slightly closer to Trump’s point of view on most issues. But, as a whole, the US public opinion favors progressive opinions more than it does conservative approaches. Second, Clinton is taking a progressive approach to every issue out there. On the other hand, Trump took a progressive approach in 3 of the 10 issues even though he is a conservative.

In addition to US public opinion, we are able to focus the results specifically on our home state. This allows us to see how people near us feel about these popular issues. Unfortunately, that is the furthest the index can go. It is not able to focus on congressional districts or ethnic groups.