Saturday, June 30, 2007

Barron's Ranks the Candidates

In the new Barron's, the cover story ranks the leading candidates by party and since the article is titled "The Mitt and Bill Show" guess who won:

Democrat Bill Richardson, the garrulous governor of New Mexico, has bloviated himself from near the front of his party's field to the back. Yet Romney would be the best Republican candidate for stocks, bonds and the economy, and Richardson, hands down, would be the best Democrat.

Those are among the findings of a Barron's analysis of the nine major candidates from the two parties. We based our judgments on the candidates' responses to a detailed questionnaire on taxes, spending, health care, energy and other issues. We also considered their records as governors, senators and holders of other offices. Romney, formerly governor of Massachusetts and once a top private-equity investor, garnered 3.8 points out of a possible 4, edging out Republican rival Rudolph Giuliani, with 3.7. John McCain was third, with 3.5. a On the Democratic side, Richardson scored a 3.0, handily topping the field. Perhaps surprisingly, Barack Obama, finished second, with 2.0. Despite his strong support from the party's traditional base, he displayed more free-market thinking than Hillary Clinton, who scored 1.8. He showed a healthy skepticism for big government in his approaches to both health care and energy....

In arriving at the scores, we consistently favored market-driven points of view.... While our points of view may sound more Republican than Democratic, our guiding principle is the power of markets. We are aware that the stock market often does best with a Democrat in the White House. From the beginning of the 20th century, the Dow Jones industrials have climbed an average of 7.19% a year when Democrats were president, versus 4% under Republicans, according to Ned Davis Research. Bonds, on the other hand, have done better under Republicans.

We don't know if history is set to repeat itself. But right now, the Republicans are clearly exhibiting more market-friendly tendencies.

The article seems to go out of the way to be fair and explores the big topics in some depth for each candidate. It really is interesting enough to deserve a full read.

Note & HT: MarketWatch provided the free link to the Barron's story.And MarketWatch remains my favorite source for financial news and I keep it up whenever I'm online. I even liked when it was CBS MarketWatch but it is even better as a Dow Jones product.

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