Each election cycle, voters encounter political polling asking what issues matter the most to them. Typically, the voter marks the most important one, two, or three issues from a slate. However, this approach does nothing to reveal the underlying Preference Profile for the voter. For example, several issues may each be “very important” in isolation, but the voter would be quick to add they are not equally important.
Suppose you identify these essential political issues for inclusion in a polling instrument:
- National security
Naturally, some issues are more important than others are, but saying precisely how much more is difficult to do. Traditional polling results of “the issues most important to the electorate” give a crude and possibly misleading impression of voters’ collective consciousness. Revealed Preference Profiles are a superior way to present the nuanced leaning of prospective voters.
After taking the preference survey, each Preference Profile reveals exactly how important each consideration is to the voter. The results capture the tradeoffs and interplay operating between and amongst the issues that compete for the voter’s attention (and anxiety).
When viewed through Preference Profiles, we get a more nuanced account of what matters to each voter
For instance, Voter A seems to indicate that all five issues are of high importance, but when led through the Preference Profile process, it is clear that national security is this voter’s top concern. Voter C cites national security as the lone issue of importance, but when guided to unveil his Preference Profile, we see that while national security is the top issue, jobs and immigration account for a portion of what is important to this voter.