A candidate’s stature may be more important in elections than we ‘ve realized. I came across this claim in the US press suggesting that the taller the candidate, the better his/her chances to succeed in the presidential elections.

After a little search, I found this Wikipedia entry, and even some academic research on this topic here and here, mainly relating this phenomenon to some sort of evolutionary instinctual preference (positive selection). At least in the US, it does make sense to ask how tall is your favorite presidential candidate. The plot below presents the evidence.


The association is significant, indeed (F**ing love science!), though the relationship may lose some power if other factors is to be included, such as age, party etc.

The data

I gathered some data on the presidential candidates’ height and popular vote support to test the strength of such claim with a regression analysis. The observations consist of the height of president divided by height of most successful opponent. Data and scripts are here.

UPDATE: After have seen this post on the R-Bloggers aggregator, I realized that the engineer indexed a related postage by Arthur Charpentier, published a few years before.