Of no little importance to a prince is his choice of ministers, who are good or bad according to the prince's intelligence. In forming an opinion about a ruler's brains, the first thing is to look at the men he has around him, for when they are adequate and loyal he can be considered prudent, because he recognizes those who are competent and keeps them loyal. When they are otherwise, the prince is always to be estimated low, because the first error he makes, he makes in choosing advisers.
— Niccolò Machiavelli
Take time to look past the election rhetoric and research not only the candidate and their past track record, comparing their pre-election promises with what they have actually followed through on, but, just as importantly, who they trust to provide them with advice and guidance. Those are the keys to knowing the true candidate.