(COVINGTON, La) — Two weeks prior to the presidential election, St. Paul’s students gathered into their Pack Time discussion groups between C and D period. The group leaders instructed the students to use their electronic devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops, to visit a website where they could see which candidate’s beliefs they identified with the most.
“We were told to go to www.isidewith.com, and then we could take the quiz,” junior Matthew Endres said.
Isidewith.com is a website that uses a specialized quiz to see how a person’s viewpoints match with political parties and candidates. Topics of the quiz include social issues, economic issues, foreign policy, and many others. More controversial issues such as abortion and gun control also play a part in figuring out a likely political standpoint.
“Obviously, it asked about your views on society and economics because it wanted to see what party you sided with and which candidate you sided with,” Endres said.
Once finished, the quiz-taker’s answers are matched with candidates using an algorithm that incorporates former speeches and voting records of each candidate. The students could see the results of who they likely sided with, and on which topics they agreed. Students could view their compatibility with presidential and vice-presidential candidates, as well as those who had already dropped out.
“I’m not surprised with my results considering I’m very conservative, and so is Donald Trump,” Endres said, “I did, actually, learn something new. I didn’t realize Trump wanted to raise the minimum wage.”
Some students did not get the results that they were expecting, but the website gives detailed explanations for its results. It also provides a biography on all of the candidates and lists their stances on the same issues the quiz inquired about.
World History teacher Kevin Moore had the idea for this activity.
“It was to make sure students do not assume they are for or against a candidate until they answer some questions on issues,” Moore said.