Release: President Forever 2016 v. 1.5.8

President Forever 2016 v. 1.5.8 has been released! This adds the 2008 Beta, including several fixes.

Note: the 2008 campaign is a Beta, and will continue to be fine-tuned. Feedback welcome!

Credits: thanks to Jonah Ortiz and Dallas Davis for their significant design contributions on the 2008 campaign.

Congress Forever 2014 announced and pre-orders now available! Details here.

Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter!

To update:

Version information:

142 thoughts on “Release: President Forever 2016 v. 1.5.8”

  1. Something I’ve noticed is the Electoral Votes for each state are the post-2010 census numbers, not the post-2000 ones that were used in 2008. Otherwise, this new version is fantastic!

  2. Some minor issues:

    – Some candidates have “Governor” instead of “Gov.” as their prefix. My OCD leanings do not like this, and it’s also a bit long. Consider abbreviating “General” and “Secretary” as well.

    – Some candidates have a space after their first name, making their names appear as “John Kerry”. Looks a bit unpolished.

    – Very, very minor: I’d like it if the candidate image gallery was polished so that all used images have the standard name_surname format, as it becomes much less tedious to reuse the pictures and edit the files without any hassle.

    I’ll be checking out the scenario more later and provide more feedback.

  3. @Caleb, “When I download the update, it says that it appears malicious. Whats up?”

    The file is safe. Can you tell me exactly what message you are receiving, and what software is saying it?

    If you are using Norton Antivirus, sometimes when a file is new, security software will flag it because it hasn’t populated their cloud to a sufficient level yet.

    It has been submitted to Norton to be white-listed, but their turnaround can be up to a week (we have to do it every time a new version is released).

  4. It would be great if organisational strength in a state or whatever was shown like footsoldiers are, it’s a bit of pain keeping track of how much I have and where.

  5. @Anthony could you possibly add the Tea Party Movement as a surrogate for Ron Paul, or a endorser leaning towards Ron Paul?

  6. Some states aren’t counting up to 100%. Most are counting up to 99%, with one or two going as low as 96% counted and finishing there. I just played 2008 as Clinton, with Gore as my running mate, against McCain/Romney and Mississippi finished at 99% with McCain winning by 266 votes.

  7. @Anthony

    Can you make Mitt Romney as an endorser for the 2016 scenario?
    You could probably ad Al Gore if you add Romney, just to even things out.
    Also, add Herman Cain to 2012.

  8. @Anthony

    There’s some typos on Guliani’s description.

    Also, Kucinich is my favorite politician but his charisma is definitely a 2 and not a 3. I think he would have made much more of an impact if he didn’t look like a rodent. He also sometimes says things that can isolate anyone not already in agreement with him. You might also want to mention that he’s the most progressive candidate in his description.

  9. @Anthony

    More possible endorsements for 2016 for Democrats: John Kerry and Hillary Clinton (if neither of them run for president). Both endorsements will be sought. Obviously, Clinton because she’s a major figure whether she runs or not, but Kerry because not only is he the Secretary of State, but he is also a former candidate.

  10. @Anthony for future endorsements for the Republican Party, could you also add Sarah Palin, a well known figure loved by the Republicans, the Tea Party, and a Tea Party star with significant influence, and Michele Bachmann, founder of the Tea Party caucus in the House and a well known Tea Party star.

  11. I am playing though 2008 beta for the first time. It’s a very fun scenario. Here is my feedback. (note: I had every candidate run).

    1. After Obama locked up the nomination in February, and everyone dropped out or endorsed him, he ended up having a debate by himself. He scored a 7.

    2. Jeb Bush is a lot stronger than I think he would be. I’m not knocking his ability, but his brother just served a blunderous 8 years and his last name would probably be held against him. Bush came out as a front-runner for much of this first play through. I’d say his strength would only be in Florida and Texas with him having to really work up some support. This would be going on while his brother is falling in the polls. Would his brother campaign for him? Would he want him to? He would have to distance himself from him. I think he’s a good candidate to have in the scenario, but I think he would only win if a player tried really hard to win with him.

    3. Because of Bush’s administration, I would think the Democrats would have a massive lead with the Republicans having to distance themselves from their own president. In 2008, I remember it being a shoe-in win for the Democrats. Part of the fun of this scenario would be the struggle of playing the Republicans and trying to win a term after 8 Bush II years.

    4. Clinton is mired in scandals just as she is in the 2016 scenario. For some reason, no other candidate in this game, whatever the scenario, is as scandal prone as Clinton. I don’t think this is accurate.

    5. How about Colin Powell as a what-if candidate?

    6. Kucinich and Ron Paul shouldn’t drop out as early as they do. Candidate as unique as them are often running to get more air-time and win over more converts to their views for future generations.

    7. I do like that you created some historical events “Obama dinner speech”, etc. I’d like to see some hypothetical events for 2016, which can be removed when we get to 2016 in real life. Bush blunders/successes during the campaign season/economy should impact the Republican party.

    8. If you’re curious it ended up being Gingrich vs Obama.

    I’ve saved them game. Will let you know if I notice anything else in this play-through.

  12. Gingrich v Obama, juicy. Anyway the 2 parties were running almost even at the start but the worse the economy got the more Mc Cain’s support dropped (I wonder if Tina Fey mocking Sarah Palin hurt them as well) so they should certainly start even but with a terrible economy.

  13. Heads up to anybody playing 1912, once the orimaries are over wham! Organisational strength costs 40,000 and might wreck your game if you’re playing as the Socialists.

  14. @SANC

    Was it really even in November, 2007? I wasn’t sure, but looked up all these polls on wikipedia. Democrats seem to be ahead, sometimes landsliding Republicans, about the time the game starts.

    Fox Nov 13–14, 2007 Hillary Clinton 46% John McCain 45%
    Hillary Clinton 47% Rudy Giuliani 43%
    Hillary Clinton 49% Fred Thompson 40%
    Hillary Clinton 50% Mitt Romney 37%
    Rasmussen Reports Poll Nov 12–13, 2007 Barack Obama 43% Rudy Giuliani 41%
    Rasmussen Reports Poll Nov 12–13, 2007 Barack Obama 47% Fred Thompson 42%
    Rasmussen Reports Poll Nov 7–8, 2007 Hillary Clinton 45% John McCain 47%
    Rasmussen Reports Poll Nov 7–8, 2007 Hillary Clinton 47% Mitt Romney 42%
    Rasmussen Reports Poll Nov 5–6, 2007 Hillary Clinton 48% Rudy Giuliani 42%
    Rasmussen Reports Poll Nov 5–6, 2007 Hillary Clinton 48% Fred Thompson 42%
    NBC/Wall Street Journal Poll Nov 1–5, 2007 Hillary Clinton 46% Rudy Giuliani 45%
    Rasmussen Reports Poll Nov 2–4, 2007 Barack Obama 49% Mike Huckabee 38%
    Rasmussen Reports Poll Nov 2–4, 2007 Hillary Clinton 46% Mike Huckabee 43%
    USA Today/Gallup Poll Nov 2–4, 2007 Hillary Clinton 51% Rudy Giuliani 45%
    CNN Poll Nov 2–4, 2007 Hillary Clinton 51% Rudy Giuliani 45%
    Newsweek Poll Oct 31 – Nov 1, 2007 Hillary Clinton 49% Rudy Giuliani 45%
    Hillary Clinton 49% Fred Thompson 45%
    Hillary Clinton 49% Mitt Romney 45%
    John Edwards 48% Rudy Giuliani 45%
    John Edwards 53% Fred Thompson 39%
    John Edwards 53% Mitt Romney 37%
    Barack Obama 48% Rudy Giuliani 45%
    Barack Obama 52% Fred Thompson 39%
    Barack Obama 53% Mitt Romney 37%

    I think that might be accurate for the Socialists. I love playing as them, but I can still win the scenario with that handicap. I don’t think the Socialists could ever equal the organization of the two major parties, unfortunately.

  15. @Jonathan At the most, maybe the Democrats should have a 3-4% lead over the Republicans. During my first play through, I played as John McCain with Sarah Palin as my running mate against Obama/Biden, and the two third parties. Their were several events that occurred and decreased McCain’s score to almost 40% with Obama having 46-48% of the popular vote during the general election. Then by election night, I won against Obama, with just 50-70 electoral votes over his 200 something and I won the popular vote by .2 percent (McCain 48.9 Obama 48.7) If this were to happen, it would make it difficult to win, but maybe add more events to decrease the Republican’s percentages? I personally think it is fine the way it is, and their are enough events to bring down the Republican’s percentages by election night. (if McCain is the nominee, I have not tried playing as another candidate). Thanks.

  16. @Dallas

    I think a 4% lead would be fine. I just want it to be accurate with the majority of the “reliable” polls..averaging out Fox/CNN/MSNBC/Gallop etc. That would probably be about a 4% lead.

    2008 is probably the most difficult scenario, other than 1984, in the last 30 years, I’d say. Democrats in 1984 have a huge margin to overcome; likewise, but not as badly, Republicans did in 2008, if they were going to win.

    2016, could prove difficult for Republicans if things continue as badly as they are for House Republicans; however, I expect things to even out somewhat by 2016.

  17. @Anthony
    For some reason Nader is automatically endorsed by the newspapers. He’s set at 100 on them and it endorses him when these endorsements are active.

  18. I haven’t played the newer 2008 beta, but, at least Edwards should have a really low integrity score. We all know why quite well.
    Having the older 2008 demo, the third party candidates are the Libertarians and Baldwin. This one has Nader, which other third party candidates will it have?
    Does it have the 2016 version’s barnstorming effect instead of the older mechanic?

  19. Something I still notice is that McDonnell still has a deep stronghold in a lot of southern states. McDonnell shouldn’t start out with 4.9% of the vote, more than Cruz. He should not be that strong, he should be near the bottom in the polls.
    This may have been fixed however since this is in version 1.5.5, which is the latest trial mode download.

  20. @Jake “Does it have the 2016 version’s barnstorming effect instead of the older mechanic?”

    You mean as opposed to P4E8? Yes – all campaigns use the P4E16 game mechanisms.

  21. @Jonathan “For some reason Nader is automatically endorsed by the newspapers. He’s set at 100 on them and it endorses him when these endorsements are active.”

    Noted – I’ll look into this.

  22. @Jonathan “When do you think you’ll have a beta for 2000 and 2004?”

    No ETA on those yet. 2004 next, though. Probably see one campaign per month going forward.

  23. @Jonathan “if he didn’t look like a rodent.”

    Ouch! Anyone else on this – does Kucinich deserve a 2 or 3 on charisma?

  24. @Anthony
    re: 2016 scenario

    I think Julian Castro might need to be researched fully. He’s by far the most left-wing candidate in the game; however, he is mayor of a city in Texas. San Antonio is barely center-left, possibly right in the center. I think Castro would probably be center or center-left in some areas. Currently, he’s “left” on all but one issue, I think.

    Elizabeth Warren is receiving more and more press for her progressive platforms; yet, she isn’t really that far left on the game. I think she’s another candidate that should be reviewed. Her same-sex marriage position should definitely move one notch to the left.

  25. I’ve had a look at Kuchinich’s platform ingame. He doesn’t really want to set up a worker’s state does he? (Unions).

  26. @SANC
    He’s extremely pro-Union. He goes to Union Rally’s and is a vocal opponent of Scott Walker.

    I wish Kucinich was at least a 3 in charisma in real life. I love his platform, I think his charisma is what causes him to get 4% in the primaries. If he looked like George Clooney or Brad Pitt, or even a normal guy, like RIck Santorum, he probably would have done much better in the polls. He’s undersized, too, and sounds much angrier than I wish he would. Maybe if he has his wife next to him, he’s a 3. I really like Kucinich and he’d be close to an ideal president (for me), but even I have enough detachment from my views to recognize that he’s only charismatic to those who already believe in his platform. True charisma draws in people who wouldn’t ordinarily agree with you. This is also why I think Cruz should be a 2, just like Ron Paul. THey are charismatic to their base, and that is all.

  27. I know we might have banged on about this but voter groups are a necessity both for not making the game too easy and to get around this argument. I really don’t think charisma is a measure of how people like somebody or can win them over any more than leadership or all the rest, only percentages show that but while all undecideds are the same they’re going to be too easy to win over. You can win people over with charisma but it’s hardly enough by itself and it’s by no means guaranteed that the more charismatic candidate will win, charisma does play a role but it doesn’t conquer all and the British election of 1970 is about the one most uneven in terms of charisma I know of but what do you know, Heath wins after losing by a landslide 4 years previous. The more hardcore candidates are already punished by being more vulnerable to attack ads (I find if your position is at the national centre it won’t be attacked) so let’s not make charisma an even bigger part of the game, as it stands it’s possibly the most important stat as it is.

  28. Perhaps, I misunderstand the definition of “charisma” as it applies to this game. I don’t know if it is personal charm of the person, or of their platform.

  29. It can hardly be the charm of their platform as there’s already boosts or punishments for that. Not percentage boosts or losses directly but bigger penalties or boosts respectively for attacking this position or that whether in barnstorming or rallying or ads but charisma gives its own boost or penalty.

  30. New 2016 poll:

    – Clinton leads Cruz 50-33
    – Clinton leads Christie 44-39
    – Clinton leads Bush 48-39
    – Clinton leads Paul 49-37
    – Biden leads Cruz 46-36
    – Christie would beat Biden 45-38
    – Cruz is the top choice of most right-wing voters with 26% (Paul, Bush and Ryan are next)
    – Republican Primary poll: Christie 16%, Paul 16%, Cruz 15%, Bush 14%, Ryan 11%, Rubio 10%, Jindal 6%, Santorum 5%, undecided 8%
    – Clinton leads despite all Republicans despite 51% of poll takers calling themselves Conservatives, compared to 35% moderates and 24% liberals.
    – 38% in the poll are Democrat, 34% Republican, and 28% Independent. This probably means a number of Republicans would choose Clinton over Cruz.
    – Clinton has 67% in the Democrat poll, Biden 12%, everyone else has less than 5%

    In all, I think this poll reflects most of the polls in the last month or so. Bush should probably be strengthened and Ryan, Rubio, Santorum (and Palin), should be weakened. Also, the Democrats should probably lead by a wide margin; I’d assume something like 45%-38% with the rest undecided.

    You could create some hypothetical events that may hurt either party and randomize the probability of the events occurring. Just an idea.

  31. @Anthony

    I simulated five 2008 elections. Hopefully it will help in tweaking the beta. All five elections were unrealistic. Note; I played the LIbertarian party and space-barred through to the election. I started in the primaries. All candidates were turned on.

    Obama/Clark vs. Rice/Giuliani
    Republican Victory (393 EV/55.3%)
    Notes: Jimmy Carter, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi endorsed Rice! Vermont goes 62% for Rice.

    Obama/Kerry vs. Bush/Brownback
    Republican Victory (334 EV/52.4%)
    Notes: Obama oddly takes Kansas in landslide loss.

    Gore/Warner vs. Bush/Romney
    Republican Victory (276 EV/49.2%)
    Notes: Gore wins popular vote.

    Obama/Clark vs Rice/Barbour
    Democrat Victory (435 EV/ 57.9%)
    Notes: Obama picked up Idaho, Kansas, South Dakota, Louisiana, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky!

    Obama/Warner vs. Rice/Ryan
    Republican Victory (311 EV/50%)
    Notes: Maine went Republican in all five of these simulations.

    – Republicans win 4 of 5 simulations in an election that was well-known to be an easy Democratic victory, due to Bush’s presidency.
    – Bush and Rice are so connected to the sitting president that I find it unlikely that one or the other would be the nominee 5 times out of 5. They should probably be much lower in the polls. I can understand an upset by the Republicans sometimes in 2008, but definitely not by Bush, Rice or anyone else attached to Bush. These candidate should probably remain only for the sake of a player playing as them, but shouldn’t fair well in a simulation. If they had this chance of winning they would have ran in real life.
    – Maine went Republican all 5 times.
    – Kansas went Democrat twice.
    – Endorsements were odd in the 1st simulation. Pelosi, HClinton, and Carter should definitely only select Democrats.
    – Hillary Clinton never seemed to have a shot at winning.
    – Often the Republicans would be leading in almost every single state (all but 3 or 4) for much of the primaries.
    – I would argue that election #3 would have been the only election with some semblance of accuracy, if Bush (or Rice) were not the candidate.
    – The Obama landslide is a possibility in a 2008 election, but he won some pretty odd collection of states.

    Overall, the 2008 beta currently has an unrealistic Republican bias when simulated. Historical polls, historical analysis and the actual results show otherwise. Even Congress was Democratic. This bias is further shown by Republican victories coming from candidates who are attached to a failing president, either genetically or professionally.

    I love this game, but I’m not going to be able to recommend it until these scenarios get more accurate. I’ve been thinking about making a blog post for it on Huffington Post (I work for them), but I’ll have to wait until extreme improbabilities are fixed.

    I hope these simulation results and analyses help. I think it will also help if some of your other fans also simulate some elections to see if they compare with my results.

    Sorry, not trying to sound harsh. I’m just passionate about games/people, etc, that I like; therefore, I’m harder on them.

  32. @Jonathan re: new PPP poll, for now I’ll keep the two major parties fairly close. Clinton holds a significant advantage in name recognition, for example. What I would be more interested in at this point would be generic ballot comparisons.

  33. @Jonathan re: simulation results, thanks for these. 2008 is an initial Beta – we’ll be looking at these sorts of fine-tuning issues in the weeks to come.

  34. @Jonathan re: Kucinich, You’re probably right that Kucinich is less than 3. I’d give him 2.5 if I could. I’ll think about it.

  35. @Anthony

    I can’t find a generic ballot for 2016, yet. But i think it would fall along the lines of a Clinton-Christie matchup in the polls right now. The latest at Real Clear Politics, which collects multiple polls has Clinton with a 5 pt lead.

  36. @Anthony

    I also simulated five 2012 and 2016 elections (again, not playing the game, but spacebar-ring through as a 3rd party). Whereas the 2012 election simulated somewhat accurately, the 2016 election simulated as poorly as the 2008 Beta. Here are the results:


    Obama/Biden vs Gingrich/Santorum
    Democrat Victory (327 EV/52.6%)
    Notes: Nothing unusual, except for WV going blue.

    Obama/Biden vs Gingrich/Ryan
    Democrat Victory (316 EV/51.4%)
    Notes: Nothing unusual, except for TN and KY going blue.

    Obama/Warner vs Gingrich/Romney
    Democrat Victory (308 EV/52.6%)
    Notes: Nothing unusual.

    Obama/Clinton vs Gingrich/Christie
    Democrat Victory (282 EV/52.3%)
    Notes: KY went blue

    Obama/Clinton vs. Gingrich/Paul
    Republican Victory (286 EV/46.7%)
    Notes: What? Gingrich picked Ron Paul!

    Also, Obama selected a new VP 3 out of 5 times. I feel like he’d have some sort of penalty for doing so, as it shows he might have made a mistake the first time around. Also, Gingrich was nominated every time. Apparently, he isn’t scandal-prone enough. Lastly, Gingrich won despite losing 4.5% in the popular vote to Obama. Somehow, Obama won OK. Overall, these elections were generally close until Hurricane Sandy, which is accurate.


    Clinton/Klobuchar vs Christie/Walker
    Republican Victory (385 EV/56.8%)
    Notes: Clinton only won 10 states + DC

    Biden/Klobuchar vs Ryan/Perry
    Republican Victory (375 EV/51.8%)
    Notes: Biden only won 10 states + DC

    Clinton/Warren vs Christie/Portman
    Republican Victory (410 EV/54.4%)
    Notes: Clinton only wins 7 states + DC. Hawaii went Red.

    Cuomo/Kaine vs Rubio/Cruz
    Republican Victory (365 EV/52.4%)
    Notes: Cuomo wins 11 states + DC

    Clinton/Patrick vs Christie/Huntsman
    Republican Victory (353 EV/52.3%)
    Notes: Clinton won 12 states + DC

    In all 5 simulations, ME, MI, WI, PA, NH, OR, IA, VA, NC, FL and OH never went Blue. All were Republican landslides, which is highly improbable based off the current political climate. Although possible, the game would operate better if it was similar to current polls or was as even as possible, and without the Republican bias. Generally, the Republican party was up 15% in the polls when the General Election started. I don’t know if the Republicans are getting a major convention boost, or if the incessant Clinton scandals are crippling the Democratic party in the simulations. She scandals much more than Gingrich ever does and her scandals seem to always destroy the entire Democratic party even though the other candidates aren’t involved in her scandals, at least not entirely.

  37. @Anthony

    10 Republicans in the Senate joined all the Democrats in signing a law to protect LGBT citizens. Here are the 10: Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), along with Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Dean Heller (R-Nev.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.).

    This may have relevance if you choose to create any of these Republicans as candidates.

  38. @Anthony
    I think the House was controlled by the Democrats in the 2008 election. The game has Republicans in charge.

  39. @Anthony
    In the 2008 beta, I also had Dodd select Chuck Hagel as VP, a Republican. Although, I like the idea of a bipartisan ticket as a possibility, I don’t know if you intended for this to happen.

  40. I’m unsure if this has been reported yet, but I’ve been trying to use the offer system in order to swap PIPs for an endorsement of one of my opponents in the primaries. While exiting out of the offers screen, my chance of acceptance of the deal is from 9-12%, which is not where the problem lies. When I re-enter the window, the percentage chance of acceptance is now read at 0%. Also, when making offers to multiple candidates, the higher percentage deal, let’s just say 12% is automatically lowered to 9% if I make an offer that is at 9%. Contact me through my e-mail if you would like screen shots.

  41. Jonathan is absolutely right. The game is significantly unbalanced in favor of the Republicans. I space barred as third party through seven playthroughs. Democrats lost in all of them, with the highest score for the Democrats being Clinton with somewhere around 240 electoral votes. I’m not sure if the problem is with the percentages, the endorsers, the fact that the Democrats rarely prep for debate or issue familiarity (compared to Christie, who, every time he got the nomination, still had 4 in debating skill, as opposed to Clinton, Cuomo and Biden who usually let it slide to 1 in both categories) or maybe if it’s just something in the scenario. It is interesting to note that Democrats win in 2012 and 2008, where there are scripted events that benefit the party, but not in 2016.

    On the subject of debates, I feel like a few of the candidate’s debating skills should be boosted. Compared to 2012, the debates are pretty low scoring, especially with the Democrats. O’Malley is currently the only one above “3”, and it’s not like he’s the most amazing debater in the world.

    Biden is a veteran debater (did very well in the primary debates in 2008, and got high marks for both 2008 and 2012’s VP debates). Schweitzer is a recurring host on the show “Crossfire”, and has regularly done well in debates on TV, though I do understand that he hasn’t had national debate experience.

    Additionally, I feel like Booker should have a 4 or in charisma and/or issue familiarity. He’s a Rhodes Scholar, and right now, he’s the closest thing the Democrats have to a celebrity in the senate.

  42. I’m currently playing a scenario as Gov. Bob McDonnell against Hillary Clinton. I managed to get Gov. Cuomo to endorse me after he had dropped out of the race (through the NY endorsements). However, despite this, Hillary Clinton was still able to choose him as her VP. It seems to me that individuals should become ineligible for VP if they’ve endorsed an opponent.

  43. @Jonah,

    Thanks for this feedback about Dem Debating Skills – I’ll look at it.

    I’d give Biden a 3.5 if I could for Debating. You’re right, though, that he has significant debating experience. I’ll think about it.

    Re: Booker, well … the question isn’t whether he had a scholarship or not, it’s whether he has familiarity with national issues. As a Senator, I’m sure that will increase, but as a Mayor I don’t think he would have spent a lot of time focusing on those things. (Even Governors tend not to.) We’ll see.

    Anyone else want to chime in on Booker’s charisma? 3? 4?

  44. @Dan re: offers,

    Thanks for this feedback – it might just be something to do with the GUI, I’ll look into it.

  45. Another thing Biden needs more of is experience. I don’t like him, but he’s ran for president twice, been VP, and was in the Senate over 30 years. He’s no neophyte, but the 2008 campaign gives him low experience nevertheless.

  46. @Jake

    I appreciate your independent observation. I agree. I don’t know how I overlooked that. If it wasn’t for his verbal gaffes he’d probably be a solid politician. His verbal gaffes are why I think he should stay at 3 in debate, but he knows his stuff, especially foreign policy, so his Issue Knowledge is definitely a 4. However,


    It would be great if we could split issue knowledge to Foreign Policy, Economy, Social and Military, or whatever.

  47. @Anthony
    When will we be able to add and create events that impact a campaign? I’d like to add some to the 2024 election I created.

  48. @Jake re: Biden’s Experience, he has a 3 in 2008 (Average) and a 4 in 2012 – 2016. In 2008, he was a Senator but Experience here in particular refers to executive experience, of which he had very little at that point. Running for President adds some to this, but I don’t think enough to lift it above a 3.

    @Jonathan, Biden’s IF is a 4 in 2008, 2012, and 2016.

    Re: splitting issue knowledge, it’s a possible to-do. I’m not convinced that the added realism overcomes the added complexity, but it’s a possibility.

  49. @Jonathan, thanks for these results. I’ve noted that it might be Clinton is getting scandals for some reason.

  50. @Anthony

    Cool. Once the one-party domination of 2016 and the glitches are worked out, and when events can be created, or some hypothetical events are added to the 2016 then I’ll work on making a post on Huffington Post about the game. As I can’t write a blog outright trying to sell the game, I can post a simulation of the 2016 election based off of the current political climate, and probable candidates at the time of the writing. The simulations would be similar to what ESPN does for NFL Football games when they use Madden NFL Football for PS3 to simulate each week of the NFL season as a prediction of what is to come. That is, if you are open to the idea of me doing this. I think it would bring much more notice to your game; however, I don’t want to do it until it is a little more balanced and has some events in 2016.

  51. @Anthony

    Bloomberg should be labeled as a former mayor, and Perry as a former Governor. Other candidates may be out of office because of term limits as well. I only can think of those off the top of my head.

  52. @Jonathan How would military and foreign policy be different?

    I personally don’t think being in the Senate for twenty, thirty, or forty years is a good quality, but in politics it counts as ‘experience’, being millionaires who are connected, insular and usually secure in their seat. If somebody has been in the NFL for decades, they also have experience on that. I would be tempted to trade it off for integrity.

    Speaking of integrity, why does Nader have a low score on it? He should have a 4, and replace his score with Dodd’s or Richardson’s (both were investigated for ethics).
    …and speaking of Nader (I know), how come his positions are all over the map to make him perfectly in the center?

  53. @Jake

    Foreign policy isn’t always military; although, it seems like it. There’s a lot of diplomacy, trade, alliances involved that aren’t necessarily military. For instance, someone could be a great diplomat as a president but could be clueless in military affairs.

    As far as gaffes, I always thought debate skill controlled the gaffes, but it could be issue knowledge. This would pose a problem with Biden, because he’d have high issue knowledge and is a decent to good debater, but he is prone to gaffes.

    I agree with you on Nader’s integrity.

    I also agree with you in that being in the senate for several years isn’t necessarily a great quality. Our worst president, Buchanan, had the most governmental experience. However, LBJ, who I think was great, outside of Vietnam, had a lot of senatorial experience as well. I guess it mainly depends on the person. I voted for Obama twice, but I wish he had had a few more years in the Senate so he could develop more relationships with the people in there. He would have been much better at working with Congress if he had. I’d argue that about 10 years in the Senate/House/State Governor/Mayor of major city is ideal. Although, I’d love to see a non-politician run, but that person would have the entire government against him.

  54. @Jake,

    If a Barnstorming isn’t successful, there is a chance there will be gaffe, and for Leaders the chance (if the Barnstorming isn’t successful) is calculated by their Energy and Experience.

    So, a lot of things determine it.

  55. Rasmussen has a new poll out:

    Democrats: Clinton 70%, Biden 10, Cuomo 3

    Republicans: Christie 22%, Paul 20%, Rubio 16%, Bush 12%, Cruz 12%, Walker 5%

    There have also been two general election polls recently. One had Clinton beating Christie by 10%! However, another had Christie winning by 2%. The poll with Christie winning by 2% had Clinton beating the other Republicans.

  56. Richardson’s ethical issues made him withdraw a cabinet appointment he was supposed to be appointed to. I think Commerce.
    Dodd also had a lot of ethical issues, and his role as one of the biggest proponents of SOPA should weigh in on a civil liberty score in the positions.
    I don’t know why Nader’s integrity score is low even though he’s not really sleazy, but theirs isn’t.

  57. @Jake

    Did the Dodd and Richardson scandals occur before or during the election? If so, I can see their integrity being low, but not if they didn’t appear until afterwards.


    Can we please have Herman Cain in the 2012 scenario, I guess Pawlenty, too.

    Also, it would be cool if some candidates could withdraw before the primaries, like these two. I guess maybe it would happen if they have a major momentum loss before the primaries. This would be easier if you create something that makes candidates more or less likely to drop out. If you base a pre-primary drop out based off of % then Ron Paul or Kucinich would drop out too soon.

  58. @Anthony

    I’ve created a microsoft excel spreadsheet that has election issues for all elections. I’m currently adding all possible candidates in all the elections. This includes all “on” and “off” candidates. “off” candidates are those who dropped out before the primaries, declined to run but were strongly desired to run, and a few reasonable what-ifs. I’m hoping it will be helpful. My main guide is The Complete Book of US Presidents by William A Degregorio. Additionally, I’m using websites that focus primarily on specific elections. Where’d you like me to send this when I’m done. I think it might be helpful as I’ll have all the information in one place, that you can, of course, edit.

  59. re: Sanders

    The article says he’d probably run as an Independent. He’d probably poll about as well as the Libertarian party. He’d have highest numbers in VT, DC, OR (because of Portland), WA (because of Seattle), MA, and CA (because of San Francisco). He’s have virtually no support in the midwest, deep south, and tornado states.

    His integrity would be high, 4 or 5. But his charisma is probably a 2. His stamina is either a 2 or 3 because he’s old. His debate skill and issue knowledge is either 3 or 4. His leadership is a 3, probably. He wouldn’t have a strong campaign machine, unfortunately. Great candidate, but needs a lot of help. He would have good relations with Elizabeth Warren if he drops out.

  60. @Jonathan re: Fmr. Gov. vs. Gov., Fmr. Mayor vs. Mayor, and so on,

    The convention I’ve adopted going forward is to use “Fmr.” in endorser titles, but to use the title without “Fmr.” if they are a candidate. Justification: candidates usually emphasize their most recent, most relevant experience, and this to an extent becomes ‘who they are’ as far as the campaign is concerned. Romney, for example, was often introduced as “Governor” when he was running.

  61. @Jonathan re: Sanders, he’s added to the possible to-add list. Probably won’t add him, however, unless there’s significantly more noise from him about a possible independent or Dem run.

  62. @Jonathan “This would be easier if you create something that makes candidates more or less likely to drop out.”

    Yes, a feature to allow this is on the to-do list.

  63. @Jonathan re: “I can post a simulation of the 2016 election based off of the current political climate, and probable candidates at the time of the writing. The simulations would be similar to what ESPN does for NFL Football games when they use Madden NFL Football for PS3 to simulate each week of the NFL season as a prediction of what is to come.”

    Sounds like a neat idea! Yes, as the game continues to be expanded and fine-tuned is probably a good idea.

  64. Do you have official definitions for each of the candidate’s skills? For charisma, experience, etc.

    I’m assuming experience is campaign experience, and not political experience, correct?

  65. @Jonathan,

    Experience is supposed to refer relevant experience. What this means exactly would vary from campaign to campaign – sometimes, experience in the Senate is relevant, other times its business experience, or experience as Governor, and so on. To an extent it would typically include campaigning experience, but this isn’t intended as the main part of it.

  66. @Anthony

    Ok, I always assumed it was campaign experience. Thanks for clarifying.

    Could you give your definition of Integrity? Is it just moral character or does it also include hypocrites or flip-floppers?

  67. A new poll has Clinton losing to Christie, Paul, or Ryan in Colorado, but tied with Cruz.

    I don’t remember if you have Colorado has a blue or white (toss-up) state, but I guess this makes it at least a toss-up for now.

    Overall, it shows how much Colorado likes Christie as he’s got a substantial lead over the other Republicans and Clinton in Colorado.

  68. @Jonathan re: Integrity,

    It is supposed to reflect basic elements of character, including whether the candidate says what they believe or whether they take positions merely out of political expediency.

  69. @Anthony

    If that’s the case, why is Gingrich’s integrity lower than Romney’s? Gingrich has less moral integrity, by far, but I think he actually believes in his positions, and is very opinionated about them; however, Romney flip flops between being a Massachusetts “moderate liberal” Republican and “severely conservative”.

  70. @Jonathan,

    It appears Romney has very high levels of personal integrity, so overall it’s at a 3. In the end, this is an art more than a science, and editorial decisions have to be made. Intuitively, I think giving Romney one more point than Gingrich on Integrity is about right.

  71. Ok thanks for the clarification.

    I’m hoping the excel spreadsheet I am making will save you and your team a lot of time. In addition to candidates, issues, I’ve also got endorsers, Governors, senators, and will do population numbers, etc. From 1916-2004.

  72. I’d like it a lot if there was a way of having even as little as one (non-personality related) issue. A number of elections were essentially one issue like Canada in 1988 and this would help with making scenarios based on TV shows or whatever that aren’t political. I know this is a political game but with the level of detail and since somebody has to win one way or another I think it would work well for non-political scenarios as well.

  73. Say if I make a scenario where characters from a show compete to see who the winner is well it’s not likely I could think of 19 issues and the character’s positions. In a number of elections more than a few issues makes the rest dead weight anyway

  74. @SANC
    The issues aren’t weighted the same and some issues vary from state to state


    A new Florida poll was conducted by Quinnipiac

    Democrats in Florida: Clinton 70%, Biden 9%, Warren 4% , rest scattered

    Republicans in Florida: Bush 22%, Rubio 18, Christie 14, Cruz 12, Paul 9, Ryan 6, rest scattered

  75. Forgot to mention in this Florida poll:

    Head to head, Clinton gets 47 percent to Bush’s 45 percent. She tops other Republicans:
    45 – 41 percent over Christie;
    50 – 43 percent over Rubio;
    51 – 41 percent over U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky;
    50 – 42 percent over U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin;
    52 – 36 percent over Cruz.

    I think the most interesting thing about the poll is how Bush is out-polling Rubio. Also, the fact that Christie is in 3rd place is pretty interesting.

  76. I know they’re not weighted the same and so on, I did play Prime Minister Forever British for years but say for Canada 1988 not even Quebec was an issue. Just free trade, free trade, free trade. If I try to make a Legend Of The Galactic Heroes scenario well that is indeed a political show but I can’t think of 19 issues for it (it’s centuries in the future so Iraq would be well over by then, even The Hundred Years War didn’t last any longer than 120 years, yeah not the most accurately named war.) so having 19 issue slots that aren’t related to a person’s character (Leadership, Integrity and whatever) would not only have a lot of virtual deadweight it would have heaps of total deadweight. Nobody would play this except me probably but I bet a redone Canada 1988 would have people willing to play it (not with the P4E16 engine obviously). 23 issues is the default and fair enough but it being the only number of issues you can have rules out pretty much every fictional scenario and I’ve found that fictional scenarios though nearly all of the ones I’ve played were basically fictionalised versions of real life countries did add some variety, some flavour to the whole experience and the option to have less than 23 issues would mean a smaller file too.

  77. @SANC, Although I have not tested it, the game engine should allow for just 1 issue outside of the four attribute issues. The number is no longer fixed like in P4E8. However, I believe at least one issue requires the “scandals_apply” tag with a value set to 1.

  78. @Jonathan re: Florida, I’ll be doing an update of polling numbers at some point in the future (probably Dec.).

  79. On second thought no. A button in the issues saying delete issue would be a big help, as it is the errors make it impossible to edit the leaders and regions with the editor.

  80. @SANC, I’m not sure what you’re saying here. There is a Delete button on the Campaign Editor’s Issues Screen.

  81. Just letting you know about some new polls that came out today and yesterday:

    WFB poll has Clinton trailing Christie by 2 pts in Virginia, but she’s destroying all the other Republicans in Virginia by 7 to 9 pts.

    A Harper’s poll has Clinton trailing to Christie in Iowa by 5 pts, but again defeating all other Republicans by 3 to 7 pts (Cruz by 7)

    A Quinnipiac poll has Clinton leading Christie by 1 in Ohio. And defeating all other Republicans by 8 to 15 pts in Ohio (Paul down 10, Bush down 13, Cruz down 15)

    A Harper’s Republican primary poll for Iowa: Christie 17, Cruz 16, Paul 13, Santorum 11, Ryan 9, Bush and Walker 7, Rubio 6, Jindal 3

    All of these are on the realclearpolitics website.

  82. @Jonathan,

    Thanks for this – I don’t know how relevant inter-party polls are this far from the start of the general election. Clinton’s numbers are presumably buoyed by significant name recognition, in particular.

  83. @Anthony

    I just played the 1912 scenario. I know it’s in beta, but I noticed that everytime I start in the primaries, the Republicans get almost all the states, including the deep south. The deep south is a lock for the Democrats for another few decades. Just letting you know so the boost doesn’t occur in that region. I’m playing as Debs, each time the whole South goes red. To give an idea, in 1916, 97% of South Carolina voted Democrat. They were still the party of the invaders. Just letting you know for when you have a chance to fix it.

  84. Remember polls are not always accurate… look at the Wisconsin recall election… in every poll, even the exit poll, he was down by at least five points…. Santorum and Iowa last year, he wasn’t picked to win Iowa in any of the polls… VA gubernatorial race earlier this year, most polls had McAuliffe winning by 12+, he didn’t….. Also polls had Romney winning Ohio, and Iowa, he didn’t….cant trust polls all the time, especially when they do not implicate a fair race… about 10% more democrats voting in the polls than republicans is not very realistic…. Also, if you are going to used those polls, you need to use the republican primary #’s for Iowa as well… they are

    Christie 17
    Cruz 16
    Paul 13
    Santorum 11
    Ryan 9
    Walker 7
    Rubio 6
    Jindal 3

  85. @Kevin

    Yeah, I list those Iowa #s above in my post.

    I think the only thing that is realistic in the polls is that Clinton would defeat someone like Cruz or Paul pretty soundly. I think all the other people will be close. Christie beating Clinton is a definite possibility, as much as I don’t want that to happen.

  86. thats if Clinton could survive a debate with Paul or Cruz…. those are the only two candidates that I could see slamming her on the Benghazi scandal….

  87. @Kevin

    I agree with you on the debates, but I still don’t think that will have much of an impact on voters. It’s clear from the polls that people are afraid of Paul and Cruz. People in the cities, people living in disaster areas, minorities, poor people, moderates, aren’t going to vote for Paul and Cruz. There are pieces of their philosophies that may be attractive, but their entire philosophy as a whole is radical in a way that most Americans will not accept. As unhappy as many Americans are, they are still comfortable enough to not want to rock the boat. Clinton is status quo, they aren’t. I say this as a Dennis Kucinich/Bernie Sanders liberal that would like a Scandinavian style government in America. I’m an idealist but also a realist. Cruz and Paul haven’t a shot outside a local level, but I’ll admit they do have a better shot at winning than my guys do.

  88. How about Senators give 1 footsoldier each instead of momentum? Momentum can disappear just like that but footsoldiers are worth fighting for.

  89. One more thing. In December of 2012 Gingrich took a more liberal position on gay marriage and although that’s after the 2012 scenario starts for most of the scenario he had the more liberal position in real life so I think he should start at CR or C rather than Right.

  90. @Sanc

    1) I agree with what you say about foot soldiers, I think momentum should also be there. There would be initial momentum as well.

    2) Rather than this, I’d like to see the CPU alter their platform occasionally so they can get accused of flip-flopping. Kerry and Romney should flip a lot. The Paul’s and Kucinich would never flip. Maybe tie it in with the Integrity score. I guess you’d have to make the platform to state compatibility stronger, so that it matters if you switch. For instance, if Romney were fighting for Texas to beat someone, it would be worth him flip-flopping, and taking that possible hit, to eventually gain voters by the election.

  91. I played as Obama last night (2012) and got 77% of the popular vote and 434 electoral (and about half of the states Gingrich did win were close. I forgot to make use of my VP Mark Warner.) Apart from reinforcing the fact that the game is too easy and you don’t really need to barnstorm or whatever when you can target, build up organisation strength and footsoldiers is that when you get endorsed it should be on Leadership or something like that. I know it’s random but I doubt Rick Perry would endorse Obama based on his Same-Sex Marriage position.

  92. @Anthony

    I get error messages when trying to add endorsers to the 1912 scenario. I was trying to add Senators. It did it on my first attempt–Sen. Henry Cabot Lodge of Massachusetts. I was able to save and work despite the messages, but the game would crash once I tried to play the game.

  93. @Anthony

    In the 1912 scenario, I think you could make the Progressive/Bull Moose party, at least a 4 on all the campaign skills. Currently, they are set on 1. This makes Roosevelt a nonentity if he starts in the primary and easily the weakest of the three major parties in the General Election. I played as Taft, and set TR with all 5’s in campaign during the primary, he gradually gained up to 30% (Taft 37% and Wilson 27%, the rest Socialist). This seemed about realistic to me.

    Also, when is the next update going to be out?

  94. There seems to be a bug with the delegate counts. In 2016, O’Malley has won the Democratic nomination, and the game is saying he has 7417 delegates despite the fact that the total number of delegates available to Democrats is 5520.

  95. @Will,

    Thanks for this bug report – it has been fixed in the latest internal, that should be released this coming week.

Leave a Comment