Microsoft released a new tool this week that uses big data analytics to let you know where presidential candidates stack up on the issues, and how they compare to you.
The “Bing Political Index” analyzes candidate quotes, votes and public stances to give a numeric score on 10 different key issues. Microsoft then compares that score to public opinion, which it rates based on huge amounts of data like social media posts and web searches. Microsoft has partnered with nonpartisan Ontheissues.org to curate some of the information.
The system is built on machine learning, so scores will be updated and get smarter throughout the election cycle, according to a Microsoft blog post announcing the tool.
If you want, you can even take a survey to determine where you fall along the political spectrum, and have that rating compared to the candidates and the general public.
For example, the tool told me I was pretty far left leaning on immigration reform, while public opinion is just slightly to the left. Donald Trump, meanwhile, was rated 97 points more conservative than public opinion.
Microsoft notes the tool is just a “good starting point,” and not designed for the deeper research many voters will need to do before November 2016 rolls around. But it does offer an easy way to look at what’s happening in the election.
You can sort by issue to see all the candidates next to one another, or by candidate to see a complete profile of their stances. There’s also a timeline feature that shows major events in the election and how popular candidates have been on Twitter and Facebook.
The comparison tool is now the top result whenever you make an election-related Bing search. Microsoft says this is just the first of several tools it plans to roll out during the election.