Does Height Affect Voting Attitudes?

Does Height Affect Voting Attitudes?

For those who live in the United States, November 6 is Election Day. Interestingly enough, 2 out of 3 times in US elections, the taller candidate wins. Some wonder the reason why this would be the case. Psychology Today explains that it isn’t necessarily who is tallest, but overall Americans seem to like their leaders tall.

Barack Obama was an inch shorter than Mitt Romney and won, however, both politicians are over 6 feet tall. The average height for an American man is around 5’9’’. The reason people vote for taller than average politicians could be explained by evolutionary psychology. As our ancestors evolved, having bigger allies or mates could bring protection and more access to needed resources; thus, having the advantage of living longer and a greater chance for offspring to survive.

While it may not seem necessary now, for our ancestors in violent environments, it could mean the matter between life and death. These tendencies are said to be passed down to us in our DNA. (

While studies have shown that the height of a candidate matters, what about the height of the voter? According to a study from Ohio State, a correlation was found between height and political leanings. After studying residents in the United Kingdom, it was found that individuals who are taller are more likely to vote conservative. Why would this be?

The study sites findings that taller individuals tend to make more money than their shorter associates and income does affect voter preference. The study found that this correlation for tall individuals voting conservative was twice as strong for men than women. ( )

What do you think? Do you see these correlations to be true in politics or do you think the findings are a bit of a stretch? Either way, get out there and vote!