New article on the Appearance-Based Effects in the Elections to the U.S. House of Representatives 2016

This article considers at the impact of appearance on the US House of Representatives 2016 elections. The authors expect the perceived attractiveness, competence, or sympathy to predict the electoral success of House of Representatives candidates. Furthermore, the article raises the question of whether the effects on appearance are conditioned by the status of detention, sex and age of the candidates. If one regards the difference between the winner’s and the runner’s first votes as a dependent variable, one finds that only the attractiveness has a positive effect on the share of votes. Perceived sympathy and competence show no significant effects. These results support the work of Berggren and colleagues (2010), who also recognize attractiveness as a relevant factor. Furthermore, the results of the current article show that attractiveness plays a role especially for those candidates who have the advantage of tenure. In addition, the studies show that gender-specific differences in appearance are observed. Being sympathetic to one’s own appearance helps a candidate to compete with another woman.

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Daniel Meyer