The Weight of Image

How much weight does a candidate’s image have on an election outcome? It’s a basic assumption that candidate’s appearance and behavior have an effect on how voters perceive them and in turn, vote for them. Little research has ever been done on this topic to support this theory however. One scholarly article titled “The Image and the Vote: The Effect of Candidate Presentation on Voter Preference” provides a great analysis on the importance of voter image. According to the article “How a political candidate looks and speaks has a significant impact on that candidates chances of being elected – style shapes image and image affects the vote. These claims are political truisms of the television era. Election commentary invariably focuses on candidate’s images and their image- making strategies. A good example of this is provided by the news commentary of the 1984 democratic president primaries. Attention centered on the role of image – the strength of Gary Hart’s image and the weakness of the images of the initially more prominent Alan Cranston and John Glenn”. While there is not substantiated research on the subject of voters opinions and a candidates image there is definitely a correlation between the two. For more information on the subject I recommend reading the full article at http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/2111296?uid=3739920&uid=2129&uid=2&uid=70&uid=4&uid=3739256&sid=21101360820247

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