The Presidential Charisma Rule

Presidential Elections Rule #1:

The one with more charisma will win.

Since presidents have been using television to communicate with the people, the one with the most charisma has won. I’ll start conservatively with 1952, but it really was 1960 when television really took off.

1952 Dwight D. Eisenhower (R) – 442 Adlai Stevenson (D) – 89
1956 Dwight D. Eisenhower (R) – 457 Adlai Stevenson (D) – 73
1960 John F. Kennedy (D) – 303 Richard Nixon (R) – 219
Harry F. Byrd (D) – 15
1964 Lyndon B. Johnson (D) – 486 Barry Goldwater (R) – 52
1968 Richard Nixon (R) – 301 Hubert Humphrey (D) – 191
George Wallace (I) – 46
1972 Richard Nixon (R) – 520 George McGovern (D) – 17
1976 Jimmy Carter (D) – 297 Gerald Ford (R) – 240
1980 Ronald Reagan (R) – 489 Jimmy Carter (D) – 49
1984 Ronald Reagan (R) – 525 Walter Mondale (D) – 13
1988 George H. W. Bush (R) – 426 Michael Dukakis (D) – 111
1992 Bill Clinton (D) – 370 George H. W. Bush (R) – 168
1996 Bill Clinton (D) – 379 Bob Dole (R) – 159
2000 George W. Bush (R) – 271 Al Gore (D) – 266
2004 George W. Bush (R) – 286 John Kerry (D) – 251
2008 Barack Obama (D) – 365 John McCain (R) – 173
2012 Barack Obama (D) – 332 Mitt Romney (R) – 206

Compare the candidates. The one with more charisma won every time. 60 years and 16 elections worth of data.

The general masses of people don’t get excited about policy. We crave charismatic leadership. We want to have a beer with the candidate. This is why Trump is doing well. I hate him, but he has charisma. He may win over Hillary Clinton if nominated because of this rule.

This isn’t a happy rule, but I think it’s accurate.

Leave a Reply