From Smile to Hairstyle, What Sways Voters’ Likability of Presidential Candidates? 

GLENDALE, Ariz. (Dec. 15, 2015)
- Aside from a presidential candidate’s track record and opinions, what impacts their likability most? With campaign season in full swing, voters are paying close attention to a lot more than just what the candidates are saying. A new survey1 from Delta Dental of Arizona details other factors driving how voters feel about presidential hopefuls. 

From smile to hairstyle and voice to wardrobe, the new survey breaks down some of the key qualities candidates may want to pay close attention to. Here’s what voters say sways their likability of a candidate: 

Voice: The clear frontrunner. Nearly two in five (36 percent) Americans 18 and older say a presidential candidate’s voice makes them more likable. The quality resonates particularly with voters in the Midwest, 43 percent of who say voice matters in affecting likability compared to the Northeast (39 percent), West (36 percent) and South (32 percent). 

Smile: Firmly in second place. A candidate’s smile makes them more likable to 17 percent of voting age Americans. Women (19 percent) are only slightly more likely than men (16 percent) to say a candidate’s smile makes them more likable. A presidential candidate’s smile matters most to those in the West (23 percent), followed by Midwest (18 percent), Northeast (17 percent) and the South (14 percent). More parents than non-parents (23 percent vs. 15 percent) say a smile impacts a candidate’s likability. 

Wardrobe: A distant third. How the candidates dress sways their likability with 6 percent of American adults, according to the survey. The issue matters slightly more to men (7 percent) than women (5 percent) and ranks highest with older millennials (25 to 34-year-olds) at 9 percent compared to other age groups. A candidate’s smile has a slight edge in the South (7 percent) and Northeast (7 percent) compared to the Midwest (5 percent) and the West (4 percent). 

Hair: Bringing up the rear. Haircut or hairstyle comes in dead last in likability factors at just 4 percent. However, when it comes to younger millennials (18 to 24-year-olds), the hairstyle matters to 13 percent—nearly triple and quadruple other age groups.


About Delta Dental of Arizona
Delta Dental of Arizona is the leading dental benefits provider in Arizona, serving more than 892,000 enrollees and more than 3,200 contracted dentists across the state. Passionate about oral health and its importance to generations of families, Delta Dental of Arizona has worked for more than 40 years to improve oral health by emphasizing preventive care and making dental coverage accessible to a wide variety of employers, groups and individuals. For more information about Delta Dental of Arizona, visit  

1 The survey was conducted by Kelton Global on behalf of the Delta Dental Plans Association October 26-29, 2015 among 1,013 nationally representative Americans 18 and over using an email invitation and an online survey. In this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary by more than +/-3.1 percent.