When a politician tells us that he'll stick to his beliefs when in office, we usually murmur something about corporate interests and "the fat cats in City Hall." Well, it turns out that politicians are the ones who should be cynical about us. Science is finding that some pretty weird stuff can make us forget what we stand for on Election Day. At least the politicians are being swayed by briefcases full of cash. With us, it can be things as simple as ...
6Who Weighs More
Ever since JFK out-sexied Nixon during the first-ever televised presidential debates, looks have mattered in politics. Studies have shown that more attractive politicians get greater press coverage and more air time and of course, the best thing you can do if you are a lady politician is hit the gym. But looks also matter in ways you might not expect when it comes to which politicians people vote for, and being the most attractive isn't always the most important thing.
Unless you're a woman. We really can't emphasis that enough.
When it comes to men, being fit and attractive is helpful but nothing compared with being overweight. Apparently, voters see more rotund male candidates as more trustworthy and even more inspiring than their thinner competition. Other very detailed studies have shown that we tend to favor men with specific facial characteristics, which basically boils down to voting for more distinguished-looking gentlemen as opposed to "baby-faced" candidates.
With the obvious exception of Senator Giggles here.
It doesn't even matter what the candidates' policies are. Studies show that when people are presented with pictures of politicians for even a second and know absolutely nothing about the politicians' beliefs or what party they are in, certain candidates will always come out on top. And since that's the first thing you find out about a candidate, some guys are coming from behind to begin with.
According to a study at MIT this phenomenon isn't limited by where you vote. People in different countries continually find certain candidates more trustworthy and electable based on their looks, no matter how different their cultures. And as long as those politicians are guys, it is the chubby yet distinguished-looking ones every time.
Taft couldn't lose.