The Match-O-Matic from ABC News’ OTUS (“Of the United States”) News Web site is an interesting way to gauge how students’ personal views align with the current Presidential candidates’ political platforms. By clicking on answers to some of the major questions now raging through the headlines, the Match-O-Matic delivers the top 3 candidates who most closely match the user’s answers. The Match-O-Matic also breaks down responses question-by-question showing which candidate each submitted answer aligns with. Conceivably, a user could agree with Barack Obama on one issue, Michelle Bachman on a second, and Newt Gingrich on a third.
In The Classroom:
This would be an interesting way to start a discussion or classroom debate about today’s hot-button political issues. Students could move through the questions individually, print out their results, and be grouped by candidate. Since overall opinions on the many issues may differ within a single group, “mini-debates” could erupt as each group clarifies its overall position before the full-class debate occurs.