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Berkeley Startup Politify Shows Best Candidate for You and Your Community

Personalized Web App for Presidential Election Available on


AUGUST 23, 2012 (San Francisco, CA) -- With the presidential election nearing, a team of researchers at the Berkeley-based startup Politify have released an updated election application that shows which candidate would be best for every zip code in the nation. The company believes that this is the most accessible and most advanced simulation of economic policy ever made public.

Before today’s launch, Politify offered a personal calculator where users could enter their information and see the impacts to their household on an interactive web interface. “After the primaries, we spent several months merging massive IRS and Census data sets, allowing us to see how income is generated in every household and which government services those households use,” said co-founder Nikita Bier. “This was so we could clearly understand how people in America’s communities would be impacted by the candidate’s economic blueprint.”

Appropriately named Politify Local, the new tool shows the percent of households that would benefit financially from a candidate’s policies. For instance, one can see that a majority of households in New York’s Manhattan District would benefit from Mitt Romney’s policies over Barack Obama’s.

Along with this release, the Politify team introduced several other tools within their new product. The Personal calculator now provides users with an itemized breakdown of how each candidate’s tax and spending policies will impact their own household. CTO Jeremy Blalock developed an interface where users can toggle between policies in order to refine and personalize their forecast.

Politify was a result of the founders’ frustration with the criteria that people were using when assessing candidates. “People tend to judge candidates by a host of irrelevant criteria--such as  appearance or personal history. We wanted to create something that would eliminate these distortions--something that could show how policies would impact your household’s well-being.”

Last February, the Politify team bootstrapped a proof-of-concept for the 2012 Primaries. It received national media coverage and the team went on to win a number of grants through UC Berkeley and the Sunlight Foundation. After listening to feedback, the team’s founders rebuilt the product from the ground up.

Currently advised by Pandora co-founder Will Glaser and economist Emmanuel Saez, Politify hopes for this tool to be the central destination in the decision-making process. Bier stressed, “The question we’re trying to answer is simple: how will a candidate improve our lives? Politify helps Americans answer that question--not only in terms of themselves but now in terms of their communities and their country.”


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