February 7, 2016

Dislikability of Republican Presidential Candidates

Today, the morning after the final Republican debate before the New Hampshire primary, NPR interviewed Carly Fiorina, who had been excluded from the debate. The segment on Weekend Edition Sunday reminded me just how unpleasant I find the former HP CEO.

This realization got me thinking about ranking Republican candidates according to how likable (or not) they are. The idea seemed particularly meaningful, since one candidate, Ted Cruz, is notorious for being disliked. The more you know him, apparently, the less you like him. (See Frank Bruni’s New York Times column, “Anyone but Ted Cruz.” I’m not making this up.)

With these thoughts in mind, I’d like to propose a game: Rank the Republican hopefuls in terms of their “dislikability,” a measure of the degree to which a candidate inspires dislike. A person exhibiting a high degree of dislikability, I suggest, is even less attractive than someone who is merely unlikable. A dislikable person inspires active disgust, not merely indifference. Dislikability is independent of talent and beauty, though perhaps not of ethics.

As best as I can tell, here are the remaining Republican presidential candidates in alphabetical order:

Jeb Bush
Ben Carson
Chris Christie
Ted Cruz
Carly Fiorina
John Kasich
Marco Rubio
Donald Trump
My ranking is here. What is your ranking?

Update, 2/8/2016. Apparently, Jim Gilmore, a former governor of Virginia, is still running. Who knew?

Update, 2/12/2016. As of today, Jim Gilmore is out of the race. He hardly made a ripple in the political pond.

1 comment:

  1. Lionel you might want to re-order your list: John Kasich is a member of an ACNA congregation, St Augustine's Anglican Church in Columbus OH.


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