Bush More Compassionate

ABC: Voters Find Bush More Compassionate, Compatible, Likeable than Kerry

Americans, by an eight-point margin, pick Bush over Kerry as “friendly and likeable” and as “caring and compassionate,” and by a seven-point margin as someone who “shares my values and beliefs,” an ABCNEWS/Washington Post poll finds.

If this holds, Bush will be re-elected much more easily than most of us have been predicting. It’s probably not surprising that Bush is considered more likeable but Democrats tend to have an edge on the “caring” and especially “shares my values” question.

Off the top of my head, I can’t think of a single presidential election in my lifetime where the candidate that was perceived as more likable and compassionate lost. I’m not old enough to remember the Nixon elections; he was an odd duck and rather awkward around people but I don’t know much about the personalities of Humphrey or McGovern. But Carter was clearly more likeable than the dour Ford; Reagan than Carter or Mondale; GHW Bush than Dukakis; Clinton than GHW Bush or Dole; and GW Bush than Gore.

Hat tip: Black-5

FILED UNDER: 2004 Election, ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. McGehee says:

    Nixon gave a great deal of thought, apparently, to the role of television in his electoral defeats of 1960 and 1962. When he ran for president in 1968 he applied what he took as the lessons from his defeats, and managed to beat the rather personable and likable Hubert Humphrey by a very slender margin.

    Of course, Humphrey had serious baggage — he was LBJ’s veep, and (worst of all) he wasn’t Bobby Kennedy.