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How 'liberal' or 'conservative' is your first name?


What happened when we asked the Crowdpac computers to rate "Barack?"

Image: Crowdpac.com

What does your first name say about your political leanings? That is the question from Crowdpac, a Palo Alto, California-based for-profit group that monitors politicians and political candidates.

Crowdpac bills itself as independent, non-partisan and interested in helping voters, "find the best matches on their ballot, and the best candidates to support on the issues that matter most to them."

After collecting a significant amount of data about elected officials and candidates -- voting records, campaign donations and the voting records of those who donated to a candidate -- the organization developed a new piece of software that purports to predict how liberal or conservative someone will be, based solely on their first name.

Image: Crowdpac.com Image: Crowdpac.com

This conservative libertarian was intrigued. At first, I tested the Crowdpac system with the formal version of my first name, "Michael." The response scored me as a 1.4C.

The system rates a name on a scale that extends ten points to the left or ten points to the right. "Michael" puts me among the slightly right-of-center group.

Image: Crowdpac.com Image: Crowdpac.com

However, using the more familiar version of "Mike," my score changed from the 1.4C rating to a considerably more conservative 4.8C rating. This had me thinking, "Should I be introducing myself as Michael when traveling through liberal-infested waters and Mike while safely inside conservative confines?"

Image: Crowdpac.com Image: Crowdpac.com

Eager to test Crowdpac's system further, I began looking up the names people whose political leanings I knew...or thought that I knew.

Going right to the top of our company, "Glenn" was punched into the engine.

Image: Crowdpac.com Image: Crowdpac.com

It was no surprise that the boss scored as a solid conservative, planted in the middle of the spectrum and nowhere near the fringes.

How about other leaders in the right-leaning media? Next up, "Rush." Mr. Limbaugh's 8.6C was among the highest conservative score anyone earned on the Crowdpac system. In fact, only one name --  Doyle -- scored a higher conservative rating than Rush.

Image: Crowdpac.com Image: Crowdpac.com

How about the names of some of the liberal media's stars? The first one that came to mind was Rachel Maddow.

Image: Crowdpac.com Image: Crowdpac.com

Again, Crowdpac's data appears to be on the money, giving "Rachel" a 6.2L rating.

Turning towards politicians, especially those with their eyes on the 2016 elections, I entered the names of a few of the frontrunners.

Presumptive candidate and current leader on many 2016 polls, Hillary Clinton's name scored as you might anticipate.

Image: Crowdpac.com Image: Crowdpac.com

Mrs. Clinton's solid 7.5L rating was virtually matched on the right by Mitt Romney's 7.0C.

Image: Crowdpac.com Image: Crowdpac.com

Perhaps the most curious result came when I keyed in the name of the current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. What happened when we asked the Crowdpac computers to rate "Barack?"

The answer...

Image: Crowdpac.com Image: Crowdpac.com

If you are wondering about your name, test the Crowdpac system HERE.


Follow Mike Opelka (@Stuntbrain) on Twitter.

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