When conservatives gather Thursday for their annual confab there will be homages to Ronald Reagan everywhere. He’ll be mentioned in speeches, he’ll show up as a life-size cardboard cutout, and on posters and buttons. The event’s big dinner is in his name.
At the Conservative Political Action Conference, Reagan is king. And the many Republicans vying to be president will work feverishly to align with him. But do they?
For the Loop, Crowdpac, a group that mines campaign and political data and assigns ideological scores, compared Reagan’s conservatism during his time in office to the many GOP presidential hopefuls speaking at CPAC over the four-day conference, to see who might be most like the Gipper if Reagan were a politician today.
Crowdpac analyzes donations to and from politicians during their campaigns and time in public office. For those in Congress, it also takes into account voting records. Crowdpac’s algorithm uses those variables to measure politicians against each other — it’s called cluster analysis.