PRINCETON, NJ -- Although Barack Obama has a clear advantage over Mitt Romney in terms of perceived likability, it is the characteristic Americans most associate with both candidates among eight tested in a recent Gallup poll.Gallup previously reported a big advantage for Obama when Americans were asked to choose whether Obama or Romney was more likable.It's not all long legs, shiny hair, hourglass curves—according to a study out of Monmouth University, personality can make a big difference in whether someone finds you aesthetically pleasing.Groups of men and women who were asked to judge strangers' yearbook photos were more likely to rate subjects as physically attractive, a potential friend, and a potential date when the images were paired with positive personality traits. Less than half of Americans would vote for a candidate who is a socialist. -- As the 2016 presidential election field takes shape, more than nine in 10 Americans say they would vote for a qualified presidential candidate who is Catholic, a woman, black, Hispanic or Jewish.Since men tend to focus more on physical features, anything women can do to broaden men's impression formation to other areas would be smart.
These dynamics can affect 2016 candidates' efforts to attract American voters in the upcoming primaries as well as the general election next year, particularly because the field is shaping up as one that will have some diversity in terms of race, gender and, particularly, religion.One in ten Americans have used an online dating site or mobile dating app themselves, and many people now know someone else who uses online dating or who has found a spouse or long-term partner via online dating.General public attitudes towards online dating have become much more positive in recent years, and social networking sites are now playing a prominent role when it comes to navigating and documenting romantic relationships.We all know that men are attracted to attractive women.But we might have been wrong about what exactly they're responding to.MC: Do you feel like the study is a good indication that we should give someone we're not 100 percent attracted to a second chance?GL: When forming an initial impression of looks, it is 100 percent physical.In other words, personality plays a big role not only in interpersonal chemistry (how well you can hold a conversation in a bar or how well you respond to a date emotionally) but in actually altering how attractive someone thinks you are.MC: What do you think your study should inform us about our dating profiles? Lewandowski: Especially for women, I'd suggest that they emphasize traits that are not suggestive of physical features in any way.And 61% of Americans believe he changes his positions on issues for political reasons, nearly as many as perceive him to be likable.However, nearly the same percentage, 60%, say Obama changes his positions for political reasons, also among the most common perceptions about the president.