Be Likable and Relatable: How to Win Like a Politician

 In Blog

by Randy Lane

Will Mitt Romney reveal his true self tonight on the first presidential debate? Who is the real Barack Obama – the hope-and-change champion of 2008 or the realistic president of the last four years?

Political pundits “definition of character is rather simplistic, turning on such superficial points as likability and relatability.”

That’s a quote from a Charles McNulty’s article in the LA Times Critic’s Notebook: Getting a read on character for Romney and Obama.

Take note Mr. McNulty and air talent: likability and relatability have determined the winner of every single U.S. presidential election, starting in 1960 with Kennedy and Nixon (according to the Gallup Poll)!

The Gallup Poll asks voters about the candidate’s stands on issues, their voting record, experience, etc., in addition to their likability. Today people know that politicians can spin any issue in their favor. People tend to trust people they like so the most likable candidate is likely to win the debates, as well as the election, despite all the rhetoric.

Likability is even more crucial for radio personalities who don’t have the advantage of listeners being able to see your body language. Even controversial and caustic personalities need likability. Likable jerks with sharply defined characters win on air.

I agree that ideally, elections are about platforms and positions. Like radio shows, people choose people they like and relate to.

Leave a Comment

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Not readable? Change text.