Thursday, March 03, 2016
One overlooked factor in Trump's success, I think, is likeability. The authors of Freakanomics stressed the key importance of this trait in a candidate. According to the research they cited, likeability is more important than money, if you can believe it. Donald's cockiness, vulgarity, etc., might be off-putting to some, but I would argue that really competitive candidates have a quality that voters sense and like. It's intuitive. Bill Clinton obviously has it. Obama's is different: it's Black Cool. It's comes in different flavors. Even George W. Bush has something. People like gregariousness, confidence, naturalness--they like people people. Trump is clearly an alpha dog, and he likes people--at least his friends. Whatever the precise trait it, it is part of his success, and it will help him in the general. Ted Cruz sure as hell doesn't have it.