With a competitive primary and caucus season upon us for the 2012 Republican Presidential race (the Democratic race is uncontested with President Obama running for re-election), your iPhone could be a handy guide in helping you decide whom to vote for. Here are the apps that could help in the process.
Based on the app race, Ron Paul would win the nomination
The Ron Paul App (free) has biographical details, voting records, books and links to websites about Ron Paul. It even has a Words with Friends portal so you can find other supporters to play with. Other apps for Ron Paul fans include Ron Paul Mobile ($0.99) and Ron Paul Words of Wisdom ($0.99).
Rick Perry also seems to have an official iOS app (free) that looks to be just a fundraising tool. Upon install, I was presented with a login screen and had to go the main website and sign up before I could make it past the screen. Even after I signed up, I still couldn’t log in, though, so it’s not really a very strong competitor. Amazingly, no other Republican candidate seems to have an official app.
If you want a quick overview of the primary race
Pocket Polls (free) covers all the candidates, giving their positions on a dozen of different issues such as abortion, gun control, and immigration. If you want a thumbnail sketch of each candidate, this is the app for you.
If social media presence is important to you
If you’re into social media, the 2012GOP ($1.99) app is your go-to app for deciding who to vote for. This app takes all the candidates’ Twitter accounts and lets you examine not just their tweets, but how often they’re retweeted and the tag clouds of what they’ve said. Ron Paul has double the mentions of Mitt Romney, but Newt Gingrich has them beat hands down in terms of followers, and Buddy Roemer has the most retweets.
If you want your iPhone to quickly decide for you
Candidates (free) will ask you your opinion on 16 different issues and allow you to weigh the importance of each. At the end of the quiz, it will rank candidates (including President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, as well as Republican primary candidates) based on how their positions match up with your answers, and you can click on each candidate link for more information.
If you’d rather make a more informed decision
Proud Republican ($1.99) aggregates news from 15 different national sources such as Fox News, the Wall Street Journal and The New York Post so you can read what others are saying about candidates and the election. The app even integrates conservative talk radio sources, too, so you can hear live what’s being said about the race on-air.
If you just want to keep track of the race
Maybe you live in one of the states that doesn’t usually have an impact on the national primaries, or you want to see how your candidate is doing post-election, then USA Election 2012 is ($0.99) the app for you. While not directly Republican-focused, since that party has the primary-season spotlight right now, that’s what the app is currently directing its attention. Once the Republic candidate is settled, it should provide a more balanced perspective.
Read a variety of polls to see who’s ahead, find out how fundraising is going (according to the app, Mitt Romney is winning this one) and read news about the economy and general election stories. This may not help you decide who to vote for, but it will help you keep track of who’s winning and give you an idea of why.
Which criteria you use to decide who to vote for — either on your home screen or in the ballot box — is up to you. If you live in Iowa though, be sure to download the Iowa GOP app (free) which gives you detailed information about the caucuses and how to get involved.
Disclosure: No actual endorsement is being made of specific candidates or parties, and no apps were provided free for this overview.