Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Forget issues; Presidential elections often come down to a candidate’s likability

Political issues are fine and dandy. But what really sways voters is a candidate’s likeability.
Whether you agree or disagree with his political stances and actions while in office, most people would say President Barack Obama is an extremely likable fellow. He seems warm, genuine, caring and has a good sense of humor.
Contrast that to his Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, who comes across as cold, robotic and aloof. He seems like a rich jerk who doesn’t understand how average Americans live. No wonder voters gave Obama a second term on Tuesday.
The likability of each candidate is reinforced by media bias. If a reporter personally doesn’t like someone, there’s a greater likelihood that they’ll play up some gaffe, controversial statement or position. By contrast, if they like a candidate as a person, they’re more likely to let those things slide. Reporters are only human after all.
Even supporters of Gov. Romney probably weren’t all that fond of the guy.
Likability affects voter turnout and probably gets a certain percentage of swing voters.
Look at the presidential elections over the years. Compare the candidates for likability and try to ignore their political positions. Generally the more likable of the two candidates is the victor.
Before Romney, Obama faced the prickly John McCain. Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush, is a very likable guy who defeated two ivory-tower stiffs in Al Gore and John Kerry. And before Bush, the immensely likable Bill Clinton beat grumpy old men George H.W. Bush and Bob Dole.
Now back to Obama. The guy is beloved not only by the media, but by pop culture. He’s been portrayed as a hero in comic books and video games and created a cottage industry for memorabilia, art and novelty gifts bearing his likeness.
You certainly didn’t see the same enthusiasm for Romney.

Photos: Comic books featuring Barack Obama include “Barack the Barbarian” and “Youngblood #9,” in which the president reactivates Free Agent to battle a terrorist cell. 

Also check out:

Barack Obama in comics (Wikipedia entry)
Barack Obama’s Five Strangest Comic Book Adventures (
5 Insane Barack Obama Comic Books You Won’t Believe are Real (

Hollywood loves Barack Obama as well, with stars like Bruce Springsteen, Beyonce and Jay-Z stumping for the president.
The photos below show singer Katy Perry wearing one of her many pro-Obama outfits (see articles by EW, the Hollywood Reporter and Yahoo) and model Claudia Romani was showing her support for Obama in her swimwear choice (via The Superficial).

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