After the July 15 FEC filings, Crowdpac was able to calculate new ideological scores for the presidential candidates based on their new donation records. Our unique algorithm calculates the ideological stance of candidates according to their donors. As it turns out, campaign contributions are a pretty good indicator of where candidates stand politically.
Although all of the candidates registered some degree of change, there were eight who stood out the most. Donald Trump stands out as the greatest shift, crossing the liberal-conservative divide and officially measuring as a 1.5C. Ben Carson, formerly a 7.4C, followed suit and is now an 8.4C. Following this move, Carson is now more conservative than Scott Walker. Former Governor John Kasich was the other candidate to move further to the right, shifting from a 4C to a 4.5C.
Despite their claims of embodying true conservatism, four Republicans moved further to the left. Chris Christie, most notably, moved from a 3.4C to a 2.6C despite his campaign's persistent efforts to portray him as more conservative. Scott Walker, Marco Rubio, and Carly Fiorina as well moved roughly a point to the left. Bernie Sanders, the lone Democrat on this list, is now a very liberal 8.7L.
With tonight's debate just hours away, it will be interesting to see if these changes are reflected in the way the candidates present themselves. Crowdpac will be live-tweeting the event, so be sure to check out our twitter page for commentary on the debate.
And get all the information you need on the 2016 race, including changes to other candidates' scores, in our exclusive guide to the presidential election.