Daily Kos’s candidate endorsement questionnaire, 2013-14

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-01-2013-05-2008

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Daily Kos’s 2012 fundraising totals

Whenever Daily Kos considers a candidate endorsement for our fundraising efforts, we ask the campaign to fill out our short questionnaire. It’s not intended to be a comprehensive dossier—if we insisted on asking 50 questions, we wouldn’t get many responses. Rather, our aim is to focus on a handful of issues of key importance to the Daily Kos community, to help give us a feel for the people we’re thinking about endorsing.

Consequently, there are plenty of important issues that don’t appear on our questionnaire. That doesn’t mean they aren’t important to us. To be absolutely clear: We evaluate all candidates holistically and make choices based on all the public information available to us, not just our questionnaire. For instance, if a given candidate answered our questions with flying colors but has a bad record on, say, environmental issues or reproductive freedom, that is something we would most definitely take into consideration.

For the most part, our questionnaire focuses on questions other groups aren’t asking—or at least, aren’t asking publicly. It can be difficult, for instance, to find out a first-time candidate’s views on the Employee Free Choice Act, but it’s a vital piece of legislation. Similarly, we aren’t aware of any other organizations that ask about the Blue Dog Coalition or the filibuster, so we feel it’s particularly crucial that we highlight the importance of these issues. And we try to make our questions as specific as possible, often by tying them to specific pieces of legislation, in order to minimize the possibility of vague or unsatisfying answers.

We also change our questions slightly from cycle to cycle, as events warrant. For instance, last cycle, we included a question about allowing the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy to expire. Thanks to the fiscal cliff deal, that question was mostly resolved in progressives’ favor, so we consider that a success and have removed the question. We aren’t making many other changes: We’ve decided to focus on Medicare buy-in in our health care question (rather than the public option), and we’re also now asking about same-sex marriage, to send a statement about our values. If we make further alterations, we will of course let the community (and prospective candidates) know.

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