Rebuttal #5: Jeff Smith
Love reading everyone’s posts…especially Rod’s, because unlike most of you, I can hear the accent and it makes me feel as if i’m back home in Missour-ah.
It’s really hard to top the insightful analysis you all provided. So I’ll just say this, at the risk of offending: Most campaigns can largely be reduced to sex appeal.
Oh sure, there are a few voters who read a candidate’s seven white papers, and the opponent’s seven white papers, and decide that they agree with Candidate A on four and Candidate B on three, and so they’re gonna vote for Candidate A.
Campaigns are largely about likeability and, implicitly, sexuality. I hired attractive, appealing college kids in part to lure other kids to volunteer. I flirted with women in senior centers. Did I hone my policy chops? Sure, but unfortunately, I probably winked at ten times more guys in the Pridefest parade than I gave policy answers to. Sorry, I’m 5’5″; I had to WORK it, baby.
Political scientists on multiple continents have replicated a study where they show subjects pictures of two candidates and ask who the subject would vote for, in the absence of all other information. The better looking candidate wins overwhelmingly, in every one of these studies, regardless of continent.
In 2000, the models political scientists used to successfully predict the outcome of presidential campaigns 25 out of the previous 26 times went haywire. They said that, based on GDP growth and inflation, Gore should receive 59 percent of the two-party vote. But he got less than 49. This shocked academics; in a century, the model had never been off by more than a couple points.
Mystified, other political scientists asked a representative national sample of voters what issues were most important to them, and once they ranked the top 10, asked voters where they stood on said issues. The median voter, it turned out, was closer to Gore than Bush on 9 of 10 of the issues.
They they asked who voters would rather have a beer with. Needless to say, Bush won going away. And there ya have it.
What does this all have to do with Mitt Romney? I have no clue. I just got off probation, so I’m sloshed. And who can have a beer with Mitt Romney anyway? Dude doesn’t even drink caffeine for Christ’s sake.