The Average 2020 Democratic Presidential Candidate
Meet Jomala Wandersgieg — the average of every Democratic candidate for president. 🥴
What role do presidential candidate personal traits play in vote decisions?
To some, the answer is obvious as commentators frequently differentiate candidates in terms of their physical attributes, experience, fundraising capablities, and gender. Campaign strategists are among those who passionately believe this. In advertisements, on the stump, and in debates, candidates routinely attack the integrity, honesty, and leadership credentials of their rivals and as such inherently praise their own. Casual political conversations among citizens often pivot on candidates’ personalities. When pressed to explain why someone supports a candidate, these personal attributes are often offered as a central reason according to Oxford University.
This is what the average Democratic candidate would look like:
Average age: 57
→ Highest: 78 Bernie Sanders
→ Lowest: 37 Pete Buttigieg
**Average amount of higher education: 6 years, 8 months **
→ Highest: 11 Cory Booker
→ Lowest: 2 years Marianne Williamson
Average years spent in elected public office: 12 years, 2 months
→ Highest: 46 Joe Biden
→ Lowest: 0 Andrew Yang, Tom Steyer, Marianne Williamson
Average net worth: $118 million
→ Highest: $1.6 billion Tom Steyer
→ Lowest: $100,000 Pete Buttigieg
Average money raised for the campaign so far: $25,532,968.19
→ Highest: $73,799,034 Bernie Sanders
→ Lowest: $3,712,860 Joe Sestak
Gender: 68% male
Candidates often will appear are a diverse group – by background, age, gender, race and ethnicity and ideology – and reflect the competition of ideas within the party about its strategy and future. Voters rely on informational shortcuts in making political decisions. Additionally, many of the classic vote-choice and forecasting models practically ignore the role of candidate traits but still hold predictive power. Nevertheless, this conventional wisdom and the belief of those orchestrating campaigns appear to be at odds with some older empirical research that suggests that candidate character traits are important short-term forces but relatively limited in their influence on vote preference.