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Presidential Candidates Grades & Comparisons

Leadership Matrix

The Leadership Project for America PAC has carefully evaluated and graded all major candidates for president in 2016 on the basis of their character, leadership abilities, political vulnerabilities, and commitment to the principles of free markets, strong national defense, and American exceptionalism.

We utilize an editorial board, or Grading Team, with deep and broad experience in American politics — people committed to LPA’s ideas, principles and policies — who are practitioners and participants in current affairs. Members of the board remain anonymous to preserve the integrity of the grading process.

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As you will discover, grading candidates is not easy, especially to the degree and depth covered by the Leadership Matrix. There are many competing factors that go into these comprehensive grades and quick reviews would be deceiving. For instance, while we understand that newcomers to political office will have a negligible record, we are concerned when important subjects, such as opinions about the judiciary, are missing from a newcomer’s message. Simply resting atop public opinion polls is not, in and of itself, a sign of high political skills; principled speaking about issues is not the same thing as principled action; and it is quite possible for polar opposite candidates to score equally high on certain criteria or for bitter opponents to be close in scores.

Click on each candidate to learn more about them and their grade, or compare candidates head-to-head by selecting the checkbox in the upper right of each candidate’s image (up to 5) and then clicking the Compare Candidates button at the bottom of the page.

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Hillary Clinton for President 2016

Hillary Clinton

Final Grade
F /37
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Hillary Clinton
Dem. View Full Profile

All candidates were awarded between 1 and 10 points in each area, except for Free Markets where between 1 and 20 points could be awarded.

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Donald Trump for President 2016

Donald Trump

Final Grade
F /59
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Donald Trump
Rep. View Full Profile

All candidates were awarded between 1 and 10 points in each area, except for Free Markets where between 1 and 20 points could be awarded.

Compare Candidates
Out of the running
The following politicians are currently out of the running for the 2016 election.
Joe Biden

Joe Biden

Final Grade
F /44
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Joe Biden
Dem. View Full Profile

All candidates were awarded between 1 and 10 points in each area, except for Free Markets where between 1 and 20 points could be awarded.

Jeb Bush

Jeb Bush

Final Grade
B /83
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Jeb Bush
Rep. View Full Profile

All candidates were awarded between 1 and 10 points in each area, except for Free Markets where between 1 and 20 points could be awarded.

Ben Carson

Ben Carson

Final Grade
C+ /79
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Ben Carson
Rep. View Full Profile

All candidates were awarded between 1 and 10 points in each area, except for Free Markets where between 1 and 20 points could be awarded.

Lincoln Chafee

Lincoln Chafee

Final Grade
F /51
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Lincoln Chafee
Dem. View Full Profile

All candidates were awarded between 1 and 10 points in each area, except for Free Markets where between 1 and 20 points could be awarded.

Chris Christie

Chris Christie

Final Grade
D /66
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Chris Christie
Rep. View Full Profile

All candidates were awarded between 1 and 10 points in each area, except for Free Markets where between 1 and 20 points could be awarded.

Ted Cruz

Ted Cruz

Final Grade
B+ /88
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Ted Cruz
Rep. View Full Profile

All candidates were awarded between 1 and 10 points in each area, except for Free Markets where between 1 and 20 points could be awarded.

Andrew Cuomo

Andrew Cuomo

Final Grade
F /42
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Andrew Cuomo
Dem. View Full Profile

All candidates were awarded between 1 and 10 points in each area, except for Free Markets where between 1 and 20 points could be awarded.

Carly Fiorina

Carly Fiorina

Final Grade
C+ /79
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Carly Fiorina
Rep. View Full Profile

All candidates were awarded between 1 and 10 points in each area, except for Free Markets where between 1 and 20 points could be awarded.

Jim Gilmore

Jim Gilmore

Final Grade
D /67
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Jim Gilmore
Rep. View Full Profile

All candidates were awarded between 1 and 10 points in each area, except for Free Markets where between 1 and 20 points could be awarded.

Lindsey Graham

Lindsey Graham

Final Grade
C+ /78
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Lindsey Graham
Rep. View Full Profile

All candidates were awarded between 1 and 10 points in each area, except for Free Markets where between 1 and 20 points could be awarded.

Mike Huckabee

Mike Huckabee

Final Grade
D /63
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Mike Huckabee
Rep. View Full Profile

All candidates were awarded between 1 and 10 points in each area, except for Free Markets where between 1 and 20 points could be awarded.

Bobby Jindal

Bobby Jindal

Final Grade
B /85
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Bobby Jindal
Rep. View Full Profile

All candidates were awarded between 1 and 10 points in each area, except for Free Markets where between 1 and 20 points could be awarded.

John Kasich

John Kasich

Final Grade
C /76
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John Kasich
Rep. View Full Profile

All candidates were awarded between 1 and 10 points in each area, except for Free Markets where between 1 and 20 points could be awarded.

Peter King

Peter King

Final Grade
-- /
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Peter King
Rep. View Full Profile

All candidates were awarded between 1 and 10 points in each area, except for Free Markets where between 1 and 20 points could be awarded.

Martin O’Malley

Martin O’Malley

Final Grade
F /40
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Martin O'Malley
Dem. View Full Profile

All candidates were awarded between 1 and 10 points in each area, except for Free Markets where between 1 and 20 points could be awarded.

George Pataki

George Pataki

Final Grade
F /56
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George Pataki
Rep. View Full Profile

All candidates were awarded between 1 and 10 points in each area, except for Free Markets where between 1 and 20 points could be awarded.

Rand Paul

Rand Paul

Final Grade
C /76
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Rand Paul
Rep. View Full Profile

All candidates were awarded between 1 and 10 points in each area, except for Free Markets where between 1 and 20 points could be awarded.

Mike Pence

Mike Pence

Final Grade
B /89
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Mike Pence
Rep. View Full Profile

All candidates were awarded between 1 and 10 points in each area, except for Free Markets where between 1 and 20 points could be awarded.

Rick Perry

Rick Perry

Final Grade
B /84
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Rick Perry
Rep. View Full Profile

All candidates were awarded between 1 and 10 points in each area, except for Free Markets where between 1 and 20 points could be awarded.

Marco Rubio

Marco Rubio

Final Grade
A- /92
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Marco Rubio
Rep. View Full Profile

All candidates were awarded between 1 and 10 points in each area, except for Free Markets where between 1 and 20 points could be awarded.

Paul Ryan

Paul Ryan

Final Grade
-- /
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Paul Ryan
Rep. View Full Profile

All candidates were awarded between 1 and 10 points in each area, except for Free Markets where between 1 and 20 points could be awarded.

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders

Final Grade
F /39
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Bernie Sanders
Dem. View Full Profile

All candidates were awarded between 1 and 10 points in each area, except for Free Markets where between 1 and 20 points could be awarded.

Rick Santorum

Rick Santorum

Final Grade
C+ /78
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Rick Santorum
Rep. View Full Profile

All candidates were awarded between 1 and 10 points in each area, except for Free Markets where between 1 and 20 points could be awarded.

Scott Walker

Scott Walker

Final Grade
A /93
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Scott Walker
Rep. View Full Profile

All candidates were awarded between 1 and 10 points in each area, except for Free Markets where between 1 and 20 points could be awarded.

Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren

Final Grade
F /39
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Elizabeth Warren
Dem. View Full Profile

All candidates were awarded between 1 and 10 points in each area, except for Free Markets where between 1 and 20 points could be awarded.

James Webb

James Webb

Final Grade
F /57
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James Webb
Dem. View Full Profile

All candidates were awarded between 1 and 10 points in each area, except for Free Markets where between 1 and 20 points could be awarded.