Constitution Center matches voters with ideal candidates

    Visiting from Michigan, Miranda Grimley said Tuesday that she’s a Barack Obama supporter. That’s why she was surprised by what the National Constitution Center’s new interactive election questionnaire told her.

    “It says I was compatible with Newt Gingrich,” Grimley said.

    Asked why she thought that she received that response, she said, replied, laughing, “I’m not sure, because I felt that I answered the questions correctly.”

    That’s exactly the kind of “issues-only” political challenge that the Constitution Center had in mind when it set up the exhibit to coincide with this election season.

    “This is really giving people an opportunity to get educated about the issues,” said National Constitution Center spokeswoman Alison Young. “It’s which candidate you match up with when you’re actually voting based on the issues, not on that candidate’s persona or charisma.”

    Young says that challenge isn’t limited only to those of voting age.

    Nine-year-old Lily Henry, a fourth-grader from Plainsboro, N.J., gave it a try. When the interactive screen asked her to pick the three issues she cares about most, she answered with some hesitation.

    “Ummm … environment, ummm … education,” she paused. “And health care.”

    After choosing issues, the exhibit then asked her a series of related policy questions.

    One of which zeroed in on her final choice.

    “The best way forward for health care is for individuals to purchase coverage through a private insurance market?” the screen asked.

    “Ummm, what does that mean?” ” she said.

    The exhibit will remain open through the general election in November. The Constitution Center is located in Center City, Philadelphia, on Arch Street between Fifth and Sixth streets.

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