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  "In general elections, the more charismatic candidate wins"
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Author Topic: "In general elections, the more charismatic candidate wins"  (Read 5055 times)
Lou34679
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« on: March 09, 2011, 01:35:37 pm »

I think this is usually true, but 1988 was kind of different. Bush wasn't really more charismatic, but I think he handled himself better than Dukakis. Agree/Disagree? And can you think of any more elections where the more charismatic candidate lost?
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Associate Justice PiT
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« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2011, 01:39:24 pm »

     It's something I've noticed as well, though I tend to think of 1968 as more of an exception than 1988. While Bush was not particularly charismatic, Dukakis came off as outright goofy.

     Also, welcome to the forum.
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phk
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« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2011, 01:52:44 pm »

Probably true going as far back as 1960.
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Niemeyerite
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« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2011, 03:10:56 pm »

I don't know.. Bush jr. was never charismatic.. he's dumb, not charismatic. McGovern certainly had some charima, and Humphrey too. But yes, generaly spaking, the charismatic candidate wins.
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When Tables Deserve To Die
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« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2011, 05:45:30 pm »
« Edited: March 09, 2011, 05:52:35 pm by Joao "Pokemon" Goulart »

Neither Gore nor Bush were particuarly charismatic. Bush was more charismatic than Kerry, though.

Of course, if you're willing to go back this far,  Bryan was more charismatic than McKinley and Taft. TR was more charismatic than both Taft and Wilson.
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tpfkaw
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« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2011, 07:08:16 pm »

Yes, I was just saying the other day that "the bigger demagogue" (which is not necessarily the same as "the most charismatic") has won every election since 1924.
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Bull Moose Base
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« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2011, 01:34:37 am »

I disagree that Bush Jr. is not charismatic.  Bush Sr not so much but Dukakis was worse.  But at the sake of beating a dead horse... Was W's win really a win?  And what does that do to the theory?  Gore by the way seems way more charismatic when he's not a candidate.  Hillary same thing.
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Reaganfan
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« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2011, 10:44:19 pm »

1988 was simply an old-timer Grandpa type vs. a Square.

I remember a video of Dukakis and Bush talking to schoolchildren during the '88 campaign. Bush is telling the kids about how he can "talk to fish" and is making the kids laugh talking to their goldfish named "Rainbow".

Dukakis was telling a little boy grabbing his tie, "Now look...you're gonna have to stop doing that (awkward laugh)" and seemed annoyed.

That's one thing I remember as a little boy from 1992. George Bush seemed nice, calm, quiet and I always saw Clinton red-faced and yelling and it kinda scared me.

Of course, I was only 4 years old.
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freepcrusher
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« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2011, 11:02:28 pm »

charisma alone does not win you an election. McGovern appeared to be a charismatic candidate that attracted a lot of youth to support him, but lost by 23 points to what could very well be one of the most uncharismatic presidents in recent memory.
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Phony Moderate
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« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2011, 02:09:43 am »

(Bump)

1960 - Kennedy was quite obviously more charismatic than Nixon
1964 - While Goldwater was a relatively good speaker, Johnson had the Southern charm.
1968 - Humphrey was a good speaker, but came across as a bit buffoonish to a lot of people. I think Nixon was sort of charismatic in a strange kind of way. I'd say they were about even.
1972 - McGovern didn't really look the part, although he had some charm.
1976 - Ford was probably the most uncharismatic President since World War II, imo. Carter had Southern charm, although maybe not the same kind as LBJ.
1980 - Reagan was an actor, so yeah.
1984 - Mondale had some wit ("Where's the beef?") but was not in the same league as Reagan.
1988 - Dukakis didn't really even try to be charismatic (as a lot of candidates do). Bush had a bit of grandfatherly charm.
1992 - Clinton was the most charismatic President since FDR, imo. Perot was a good debater, but I think his accent got on some people's nerves.
1996 - Dole had a bit of the grandfatherly charm too. Too bad for him that he was up against Clinton.
2000 - Gore has always been a good speaker, but lacks a lot of charm. Bush had charisma back then, which seemed to fade as his Presidency went on.
2004 - Kerry was basically in the same league as Dukakis.
2008 - Obama is obviously very charismatic. McCain is another member of the grandfatherly charisma league.
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When Tables Deserve To Die
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« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2011, 03:25:58 pm »

I'd call Reagan the most or second most (Clinton being ahead of him) charismatic post-FDR president.
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feeblepizza
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« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2011, 08:47:56 pm »

See 1924
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Bo
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« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2011, 09:24:31 pm »


In terms of charisma, Coolidge and Davis were about even. Which is to say, neither of them had much charisma.
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change08
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« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2011, 12:30:59 pm »

Not necessarily.
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tpfkaw
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« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2011, 12:33:59 pm »


In terms of charisma, Coolidge and Davis were about even. Which is to say, neither of them had much charisma.

Davis was pretty charismatic - hence why he was a famous lawyer.
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milhouse24
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« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2011, 06:06:32 pm »

I don't know.. Bush jr. was never charismatic.. he's dumb, not charismatic. McGovern certainly had some charima, and Humphrey too. But yes, generaly spaking, the charismatic candidate wins.
he just needed to be more charismatic than gore and kerry.  Enough said.
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Lou34679
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« Reply #16 on: May 18, 2011, 01:19:22 am »
« Edited: May 18, 2011, 01:28:50 am by Lou34679 »

I also think the economy isn't the most important thing. It's important, but it's a combination of things.

1976 and 1992 for example:

I think the economy was irreverent in '76.

Without Clinton, I don't see Bush losing in 1992, even with the recession.


When it comes to charisma, I think think Clinton had it, but was more charming overall. Obama gives more charismatic speeches than Clinton. Obama is the best speaker since Reagan, imo.
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Jackson
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« Reply #17 on: June 05, 2011, 04:07:55 am »

This has been the case since the advent of mass media.
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m4567
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« Reply #18 on: October 22, 2019, 02:42:14 am »

I don't know if charisma alone is enough - you also need a catchy message. The candidate with the catchiest message always wins.
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Vosem
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« Reply #19 on: October 23, 2019, 07:02:27 pm »

I think this is not a meaningful statement, since winners come off as more charismatic, especially with hindsight. If it is true, there is no reason it would apply exclusively to presidential elections, and it seems easy to bring up counterexamples from primaries or lower elections.
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