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A Political Inclination Quotient, or PIQ Score (pronounced PIQUE-score) is an aggregated numerical ranking of United States voters' political views – on contentious issues such as abortion, gun rights, taxes, government spending, immigration, and the environment – into a single, quantified value on a scale of 0-to-100. PIQ Scores are portrayed as PIQ-25, PIQ-50, PIQ-75, etc.
It is comparable to popular psychometric tests – such as Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI), Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), and Personality and Preference Inventory (PAPI) – except that the subject matter is focused not on personality traits, but political beliefs.
Because an individual voter can interchangeably hold "liberal" views on some issues, but "conservative" views on others, the PIQ Score represents an "average of averages" of an individual’s overall political inclination, to help determine their net, aggregate position on the scale.
PIQ Scores for individual voters
A PIQ Score is calculated by tabulating responses to a 10-minute test, located at the www.PIQscore.com. Scores range from PIQ-0 (extremely liberal) to PIQ-100 (extremely conservative), with a median scale of PIQ-50 representing a perfectly moderate position. Early testing suggests that – following a Bell Curve – most voters fall in the PIQ-45 to PIQ-55 range.
Prior to beginning the test, the respondent is asked to predict where he or she will land on the PIQ Score scale. In initial testing, voters’ "predicted" scores have consistently showed a 15-20+ point deviation from participant’s final "actual" scores. This suggests that most U.S. voters are actually far more liberal or far more conservative than they believed prior to taking the test.
The test is written in semantic differential format; for each question the respondent is given two opposing political positions – one liberal, one conservative – and asked to choose which of the two more closely represents their own views. In the course of completing the test, a pattern will emerge indicating whether the respondent more consistently selected the liberal or conservative response. The responses are tabulated and presented to the respondent as his or her PIQ Score, with the score indicating their aggregate political inclination.
Scores translate to political inclinations in the following manner:
- PIQ-0 to PIQ-17 = Extremely Liberal
- PIQ-18 to PIQ-32 = Extremely Liberal
- PIQ-33 to PIQ-44 = Leans Liberal
- PIQ-45 to PIQ-55 = Centrist /Moderate
- PIQ-56 to PIQ-67 = Leans Conservative
- PIQ-68 to PIQ-82 = Solidly Conservative
- PIQ-83 to PIQ-100 = Extremely Conservative
In addition to receiving their composite PIQ Score, voters also obtain personalized rankings of their liberal/moderate/conservative political inclination in 10 key categories:
- Personal Freedoms… Gun rights, abortion, flag burning
- Role of Government… Federal vs. States rights, entitlement programs, affirmative action
- Taxes / Economic Issues… Tax reform, Estate Tax, government regulation, sin taxes
- Government Spending… Social Security, Healthcare, Military, NEA/NPR, etc.
- National Security and Foreign Policy… War on Terror, Foreign Aid, Diplomacy vs. Military
- Environmental vs. Energy Issues… Oil, Nuclear power, Energy Independence, Alternative Energy
- Public vs. Private Sector… Government regulation, legal reform, government employee unions
- Education / Family Services… School Vouchers, Parental Notification, single mothers
- Social Policies…. Healthcare, Eminent Domain, Illegal Immigration, Death Penalty
- Language, Culture, Religion… Immigration, Voting, English language, separation of church and state, gay marriage
PIQ Scores for U.S. states
In addition to Personal PIQ Scores, the PIQscore.com site has also contains a detailed and robust analyses on the historical voting patterns of all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia to determine quantifiable "State PIQ Scores" to determine their degree of liberal or conservative bearing.
While modern-day polling provides an instantaneous snapshot of real-time voting trends, these analytics span 32 years of actual election results to assign a definitive, color-coded PIQ Score for each state.
While Americans frequently use terms like "Blue State" and "Red State," voters can now see exactly how liberal or conservative their state is, and where it stands in terms of electoral vote count (updated to reflect the results of the 2010 U.S. census) relative to other states. Animated graphics give visitors a detailed ranking of each state, listed alphabetically, by state PIQ Score, and by electoral votes.
Though individual voters tend to use the entire range of the 0-to-100 PIQ Score scale, 45 out of 50 states are lumped together between PIQ-40 and PIQ-60. According the site narrowed and recalibrated the State PIQ Score scale to read as follows:
- PIQ-0 to PIQ-40 = Extremely Liberal (2 States, representing 7 Electoral Votes)
- PIQ-41 to PIQ-45 = Solidly (5 States, representing 60 Electoral Votes)
- PIQ-46 to PIQ-48 = Leans Liberal (11 States, representing 156 Electoral Votes)
- PIQ-49 to PIQ-51 = Centrist /Moderate (5 States, representing 53 Electoral Votes)
- PIQ-52 to PIQ-54 = Leans Conservative (11 States, representing 134 Electoral Votes)
- PIQ-56 to PIQ-59 = Solidly Conservative (10 States, representing 96 Electoral Votes)
- PIQ-60 to PIQ-100 = Extremely Conservative (7 States, representing 30 Electoral Votes)
It is interesting to note that neither Democratic-leaning (PIQ 0 to PIQ 48) nor Republican-leaning (PIQ 52 to PIQ 100) states total the 270 Electoral Votes required for election… thus, the 53 Electoral Votes that are up-for-grabs in five moderate (49, 50, 51) states are absolutely critical.
- "Blue states" historically vote for Democratic (or "progressive") candidates; on average, in the past 30+ years more than 55% of the votes cast went to the Democratic Presidential nominee. Depending on voting results, these states – plus Washington D.C. – have State PIQ Scores ranging from 0-to-44. The most "progressive" state is Rhode Island, with a State PIQ Score of 40(unless you include Washington D.C., which has a State PIQ Score of 12.)
- "Purple states" are more neutral, supporting candidates from either party, depending on the year. According voting results the past 30+ years, these states have State PIQ Scores ranging from 45-to-55… five points on either side of the median score of 50. Thus, they are called "Swing States," and the largest of them include California (55 Electoral Votes), Florida (27 Electoral Votes), Pennsylvania and Illinois (21 Electoral Votes), and Ohio (20 Electoral Votes).
- "Red states" historically vote for Republican (or "conservative") candidates; on average, in the past 30+ years more than 55% of the votes cast went to the Republican Presidential nominee. Depending on voting results, these states have State PIQ Scores ranging from 56-to-100. The most "conservative" state is Utah, with a State PIQ Score of 67.
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