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Presidential handicap

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Forget the presidential horse race on the nightly news. Forget CNBC, MSNBC, C-SPAN or Ted Koppel riding around on George Dubya's tour bus.

Florida's March 14 presidential primary is fast approaching. If you want to discover who fits your profile of the ideal president, try the Internet.

Selectsmart.com has a web page dedicated to helping you decide who's the right choice for you. The page's 17 questions, on issues ranging from abortion to free trade, are designed to guide you to the best of the 11 candidates based on nothing but your own beliefs.

A question on minority issues, for example, asks whether you prefer a candidate who is for affirmative action. Are you a get-tough-on-crime person, and do you favor teaching creationism in schools? Do you want to dismantle Social Security, and do you support gun control? Below each question are five answers, ranging from strongly approve to strongly disapprove.

At the end of the survey, users hit a "select candidate" button, and a list appears. The name on top is the candidate who most shares your view of the 17 issues, though you might be surprised which name heads your list. Select.com includes such little-known names as Socialist candidate David McReynolds, Natural Law candidate John Hagelin and Libertarian Harry Brown in addition to Bush, Gore, McCain and Bradley.

We won't tell you who Selectsmart.com said was our top guy. But we will say that Ralph Nader was among our first choices. The liberal media: such a cliché.


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