Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The (baby) face of politics

It’s two days after Halloween and a day before Chet Culver, Dewey Beach Surfer Dude & Iowa gubernatorial candidate, formally jumps in the race. And what a coincidence, I found this interesting information on candidate selection; and depending on your personal impression of the candidate's “qualities”, this is either spooky or might inspire a little check writing.

From ...

Taking politicians purely at "face value" can frequently predict their success in elections, according to a study by Princeton researchers published in the June 10 issue of Science.

Participants asked to choose which political candidate in a race seemed more competent — based solely on the candidates' photos — accurately predicted the outcome of 71.6 percent of U.S. Senate races in 2000, 2002 and 2004.

… The findings suggest that fast, unreflective decisions can contribute to voting choices, which are widely assumed to be based primarily on rational and deliberate considerations, the researchers said. …

… The evaluations of the candidates were derived solely from facial appearance. Participants were shown black-and-white headshots of two candidates in 95 Senate races. If a participant recognized either candidate, the data were excluded.

Races involving highly familiar candidates such as Hillary Clinton and Richard Gephardt also were excluded. Across all studies, participants were 843 undergraduate and graduate students at Princeton. However, judgments from as few as 40 participants were sufficient to reliably predict the outcomes of the Senate races.

The study also asked participants to look at photos of candidates in 600 U.S.

In a review of the study, Dr. Leslie Zebrowitz, a psychologist at Brandeis University, and Joann M. Montepare, explain that the outcomes of the political races were likely due to differences in the opponents' "babyfacedness." … (link)

Okay, let’s check it out.

On the Democratic primary ballot.

Is Blouin a babyface? No, but looks like he's scoring some points...or is that the face of man with a chair on his foot?

Is Chet a babyface? Nope, but he's certainly got Hilary beat on using the eyes to emote his passionate connection to HAVA.

Patty a babyface? Close, but no...however, when I look at this picture I do start to think about the strange remake of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Oh Ed, a little babyface for sure. I'm grooving on the happy hands thing you're doing. Vote for [P]ed[ro], he offers you his protection.

This is the only picture I found with a Gregg Connell name attached to it. It's a lovely variety of day lily called Bodacious Bite, honest. Those deprave citizens working over our flora and fauna.

This picture is a google find for Sal Mohammad. I have no idea if it is Sal Mohammad of Sioux City, but it works. Sal you win most babyfaced gubernatorial wannabe.

On the Republican primary ballot.

Three-fifty! You only brought three-fifty? Just kidding, this is not a happy rotary event turned Jim Nussle campaign shake down. I just thought we should make sure that Jim's still working a babyface. Maybe, but he's aging out of it, and, given the rough and tumble of this election, he should be out of a babyface by next year.

Babies definitely do not come to mind when looking up at Mr. Vander Plaats. I think Tony Robins in clogs, sorry.

There you have it, the pictures do give us a few clues and we'll have to wait 'til June to see if the sweet-soul babyface candidates end up in the primary scrap heap.

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