Height-Based Prediction Correct for GOP

GOP Primary Candidates

Height correctly picked eventual winner and early loser.

Back in October I predicted that the height effect would propel Romney to victory in the GOP primary: Politics is Simple: Vote for the Tall Guy. The shortest contender, Michele Bachman, was eliminated early in the competition. The 6’2″ Mitt Romney was helped when his near peer at 6’1″, Rick Perry, made a series of gaffes that dragged his popularity down.

So, the November contest will pit Romney against Barack Obama, listed at 6’1″. That means Obama won’t have the vertical superiority he enjoyed over John McCain, a comparatively diminutive 5’8″. But a 1″ differential isn’t much visually, and camera angles can all but negate it.

So, will the height advantage prove decisive again? Check back in November!

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  1. Kimberly Rose Clark, Ph.D.
    Kimberly Rose Clark, Ph.D.04-09-2013

    There have been many of other academic studies related to predicting election winners, including one that focused on candidate’s countenance. Some facial features were found to be more “presidential” than others (see John Carey’s jaw) and were correlated with the winning party’s mug. See:

    Is the height research related to the big ticket candidates only, because many counter-point exemplars exist in other smaller election’s outcomes? Look at Deval Patrick in Massachusetts. He’s 5-7 and beat 6-5 Charlie Baker. Or 5-8 Mike Dukakis, who beat a bunch of six-footers in the 1988 Democratic primary. Willie Horton beat him in the final, not George H.W. Bush’s height advantage.


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