I have heard that having a dog on campus is a great way to make people like you…but what about voters? A new study by Diana Mutz (I am seriously not making up that last name) at the University of Pennsylvania says voters are indeed more likely to trust and vote for a candidate with a dog.
After evaluating the data, Mutz was “surprised” to find that a relationship between dog ownership and candidate support still existed after taking into account all possible factors influencing voter preferences, such as education, age, location and religious beliefs.
“The implication of the analysis is that Obama could have had more support if he’d had a dog and trotted it out in front of the television cameras,” she said.
While there exists no rational correlation between dog ownership and presidential potential, dog-owning voters may have identified more strongly with McCain.
“People may see similarities between themselves and other people who own the pets they do,” she said.
Mutz makes a great point that it’s all about being able to relate to a candidate. If you have a dog or at least like pets…you’ll likely be able to relate to a candidate with a pet. While this UPenn study was solely focused on dog ownership (likely from the fact that her last name is Mutz), I can guess that a similar result would be found with other animals. Not all animals however…I’m guessing you wouldn’t want to vote for a candidate with a pet skunk, rat, japanese pillow.
So what do you think? Would Obama have gotten more votes if he had adopted Bo during the campaign?