1 vote

Categorizing Candidates

I need help with a project I'll be sharing soon; how would you categorize these Presidential candidates?

Michelle Bachmann
George W. Bush
Herman Cain
Elizabeth Dole
Steve Forbes
Newt Gingrich
Rudy Giuliani
Mike Huckabee
John McCain
Ron Paul
Rick Perry
Dan Quayle
Mitt Romney
Fred Thompson

I need the shortest amount of categories that is useful. They should obviously be categorized by their political stances, but the point is to group them to where their voter support is theoretically fungible. For instance, most of the people who voted for Ron Paul could probably vote for Rand Paul without a much hesitation. Some people who would vote for Ron would never vote for Rand, and vice versa, but their support overlaps enough that you make up the losses one way or the other.

I know one group will be "Liberty Candidates" (Paul etc.), but what of the others? How should they be grouped, and what are the names of the groups? I think at least three would be good, because I just don't think that an us vs. them binary system is going to capture the full dynamic of it (I'm thinking about the fight between Romney-Paul-Santorum in 2012), and I think more than four would be too many to be useful - it's not really that complicated. I definitely want between 2 and 5.

If you're wondering why I chose the people I did, it's because those are the people for whom there were contracts in the Iowa Electronic Markets in the 2000, 2008 and 2012 Republican Primaries - I just needed some functional list, and that was quick and works.