Pretty Politicians Bring in the Votes

WASHINGTON (AP) - A new study suggests that women running for top offices need to appear competent and attractive. But for male candidates, seeming competent may be enough. It's a finding that could help justify heavy spending on makeup and wardrobe for Sarah Palin. And at the same time it raises questions about the need for a man like John Edwards to invest in a costly haircut. Joan Chiao of Northwestern University says the finding was "quite startling." For male candidates, the only thing that mattered for male voters is competence, while female voters prefer men who seem both competent and approachable. But Chiao says for female candidates for a hypothetical election for president, both male and female voters are more likely to vote for candidates who were both competent and attractive. Chiao's findings are being published online by the journal PLoS ONE.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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