Having a difficult time making up your mind about the presidential race? Don't worry. Let a computer help you pick the next president.
People use computers to help them find a perfect mate, so what's so strange about allowing a computer to pick the president?
A popular new Web site called VoteHelp.org asks 28 questions about where you stand on various issues and with the click of a mouse, the site matches you up with the presidential candidate that comes closest to agreeing with you on those issues.
The people who created the site say VoteHelp.org is a completely independent entity, not tied to any candidates or political parties.
"Our goal is to help you learn more about the candidates via an easy-to-use filter," according to the site. "While it is impossible to create an easy-to-use interface that perfectly captures the nuances of every issue and every candidate’s stance, we have made a great effort to present the issues and candidate's views as clearly and accurately as possible."
The main purpose of VoteHelp.org is to provide people with a clearer understanding of where the candidates stand on issues, according to the site.
As a lark, I decided to take the test. It took about 10 minutes, but if you're pressed for time, you can answer just the first 10 questions or go to the second tier and answer 10 more or you can complete all 28 questions. The Web site doesn't ask your party affiliation, so you may end up with a candidate from the other party as your closest match.
According to VoteHelp.org, the candidate who comes closest to sharing my views on the issues is Republican Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas, and the winner of the Iowa caucuses. Huckabee and I match on 90.1 percent of the issues, according to the Web site.
Coming in a close second was Republican Fred Thompson, the former senator from Tennessee. I agree with Thompson 88.8 percent of the time, according to the Web site.
In third place was Arizona Sen. John McCain, another Republican. McCain, who won the New Hampshire primary, and I agree on the issues 87.6 percent of the time, the site says.
And here's a real shocker for me. VoteHelp.org says I agree 86 percent of the time with Republican Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts. I had no intention of voting for Romney, a man who rivals John Kerry for the Flip-Flop Hall of Fame.
Rounding out the top five was Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City. Giuliani and I agree on 85.2 percent of the issues, according to VoteHelp.org.
It's interesting how close the top five were in terms of the percentage of agreement on the issues. That pretty much says that there’s very little difference in the candidates, although I still don't like Romney. As for the other four, I would consider voting for any of them for president.
The No. 6 candidate on my list, Texas Congressman Ron Paul, was another surprise. I've seen Rep. Paul in several debates and wasn’t impressed with his brand of libertarianism and isolationism. But the Web site says I agree with Ron Paul on the issues 76.3 percent of the time.
Another surprise was the No. 7 candidate, Delaware Sen. Joe Biden, a Democrat. I never considered Biden a viable candidate (and he dropped out of the race after a dismal showing in Iowa.) But according to the Web site, I agree with Biden on 74.6 percent of the issues.
Coming in at No. 8 was Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, a Democrat who won Iowa and finished a close second in New Hampshire. I agree with Sen. Obama 71.1 percent of the time, according to VoteHelp.org
At No. 9 is N.Y. Sen. Hillary Clinton. (Seems a bit high. Maybe I should take the test again.) For the record, I would never vote for Hillary Clinton even though the Web site says I agree with her on 70.4 percent of the issues. I don't know about you, but I'm tired of the Clintons. Been there, done that. They had their eight years in the White House and left a mess behind. It's time to move on.
No. 10 on my list was John Edwards, the multi-millionaire trial lawyer who is running around pretending he’s on the side of working people. Edwards lives in a $16 million mansion and gets $400 haircuts. Despite the Web site’s contention that I agree with Edwards on 69.3 percent of the issues, I'd never vote for Edwards for president.
Former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, a Democrat, came in at No. 12 on my list. The Web site says I agree with Richardson on 68.5 percent of the issues.
And dead last on my list is Dennis Kucinich, an Ohio congressman who has a smoking hot wife half his age and says he's had an encounter with space aliens. I agree with Kucinich 57.9 percent of the time, according to VoteHelp.org.
Tony Phyrillas is a leading conservative political columnist and blogger based in Pennsylvania. He is a veteran journalist with 25 years experience as a reporter, editor and columnist for several newspapers. Phyrillas received recognition for column writing in 2010 from the Associated Press Managing Editors, in 2007 from Suburban Newspapers of America and in 2006 from the Society of Professional Journalists, Keystone Chapter. A graduate of Penn State University, Phyrillas is the city editor and political columnist for The Mercury, a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning daily newspaper in Pottstown, Pa. In addition to The Mercury website (www.pottsmerc.com), his columns are featured on more than a dozen political websites and blogs. Phyrillas is a frequent guest (and occasional host) on talk radio and has been a panelist on the "Journalists Roundtable" public affairs TV program on the Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN). Phyrillas was named one of the '10 Leading Greek-American Bloggers in the World' in 2007 by Odyssey: The World of Greece magazine. BlogNetNews.com ranked Phyrillas the Most Influential Political Blogger in Pennsylvania for three consecutive years (2007-2010). You can follow Phyrillas on Twitter @TonyPhyrillas