Play Reuters’ ‘White House Run’ to get a new view of the 2016 vote

February 22, 2016


Do people vote with their hearts, heads, wallets? Do they vote for the person who best personifies their beliefs, or the person who shares their goals and priorities? When casting their secret ballot for president, are people quietly asking themselves who they’d rather have a beer with?

If there is a single answer to the question of how to capture someone’s vote, no one seems to have found it. Candidates that once seemed unbeatable — or even inevitable — are now out of the race. Others, who were deemed to have no chance in the first place, are rolling up victories.

Reuters has been looking for new ways to tell the story of the 2016 U.S. presidential election, along with our text, photos, videos and polling data.

The result is an iOS app, “White House Run,” that lets players build their own candidates. After answering five setup questions, including party affiliation, gender, race/ethnicity, religiosity and top policy priority, players are then asked to give “stump speeches” on important issues. Reuters/Ipsos polling data will measure how in tune with voters the “candidates” are. Issues range from gun control to the environment to race relations to terrorism.

Download_on_the_App_Store_Badge_US-UK_135x40Real presidential candidates are constantly being quizzed on their knowledge of world events, so players of “White House Run” can expect the same. The questions will be asked at “press conferences,” “debates” and “town halls,” among other venues. How well players do on quizzes gets weighed as part of their overall “electability” score.

Players who go hard-right or hard-left to win their primaries will be forced to decide whether they want to broaden their appeal in the general election and pay a “flip-flop” penalty.

The app allows players to connect with each other via Facebook and compare scores. Even if a player doesn’t use Facebook, they can still track their progress against other top players. Full multimedia election news coverage — including live events — is also built into “White House Run.”

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