December 28, 2018

STANDING TALL:

Beto's towering advantage in the 2020 Democratic primary (Keith Humphreys, December 28, 2018, Washington Post)

Voters like to think that they rationally assess political candidates entirely based upon policy positions, character and abilities. But more-primitive forces also shape political judgments, including a bias in favor of taller candidates. At a height of 6 feet 4 inches, O'Rourke stands (sorry couldn't resist) to benefit.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, no major political party has nominated a shorter-than-average man for president. (There are far, far too few data points to draw any conclusions about height and female nominees, but the one in all of U.S. history we've had so far is reportedly 5 feet 5 inches, slightly taller than average for women.)

And over the course of U.S. history, the taller presidential nominee has won the popular vote two-thirds of the time. Tallness bias is not unique to Americans. When asked to draw pictures of the "ideal national leader" and "typical citizen," people from a range of countries draw the former as being taller than the latter.

Posted by at December 28, 2018 5:14 PM

  

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