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Toward Understanding Political Charisma: Its Characteristics & Relationship w/Political Ideology

Year: 2023

Presenter Name: KC Cushman

This research project examines how Americans perceive charisma in politics. Primarily, it aims to answer two questions. First, what characteristics make a politician charismatic? Second, how does ideological alignment between a candidate and a voter impact the voter's perception of that candidate's charisma? To answer these questions, I conducted a survey of 2000 Democratic or Democratic-leaning adults across the United States. The survey asked respondents to rate various characteristics, ranging from attractiveness to trustworthiness, and including overall charisma, of 2020 Democratic presidential primary candidates. The survey also asked participants several ideological questions regarding different policy arenas in order to establish which candidate(s) they most ideologically align with. I hypothesize that policy preferences will have an impact on voter perceptions of charisma but will not be the only explanatory factor. Further, I hypothesize that voters will value characteristics like perceived honesty, trustworthiness, and authenticity more than other characteristics.
University / Institution: University of Utah
Type: Poster
Format: In Person
Presentation #C37
SESSION C (1:45-3:15PM)
Area of Research: Social Sciences
Faculty Mentor: James Curry