Last week, I invited people who follow my blog to suggest a male politician for me to profile. While people sent numerous private emails with suggestions, some were off topic, and the rest were about other women. Stumped, and with no interest in writing about the obvious, the news provided the inspiration. It is clear that wasting energy to tarnish Biden’s image has proven ineffective. At least it is the case for now.

Thanks to the New York Times

Why write about wasting energy to tarnish Biden’s image? The answer came from the New York Times, proclaiming that voters prefer Biden over Trump on almost all major issues. It states “Mr. Trump’s efforts to tarnish Mr. Biden’s personal image and make him unacceptable to swing voters” isn’t working.

This language definitely caught my attention, and I knew this was not about voters’ interest in who has better hair. No question, this is about substantive stuff, that part about “almost all major issues,” as the article’s headline states. And, this is also about one man’s reputation. This is what the New York Times means when it uses the phrase: personal image. In other words, this is about Biden’s personal image as a measure of favorability.

In business, overall reputation and executive presence matters to top leaders and their effectiveness to lead and inspire. So, with respect to politics, the NYT’s latest poll gives Biden a 10-point favorability advantage. The NYT journalists cite a Republican woman from Wisconsin. She describes Trump as “divisive,” and is her reason to not support him. She further reveals, “The important thing is bringing the country back together,” evaluating his inability to lead effectively.

Temperament clearly does matter, and not only in this election. It’s a measure of overall executive presence. The masses look for balanced temperament when considering whether a leader will accomplish more goals. It’s another matter altogether who among voters believe or don’t believe in those goals.

Further evidence from The Wall Street Journal

Their article asserts, “Pollsters and political strategists said this election is a referendum on Mr. Trump’s leadership” and his attacks on Joe Biden. Writers for the WSJ highlight a Florida woman who has already voted for Mr. Biden. This voter said, “I just didn’t like Hillary [Clinton]. I disliked Trump less than I disliked Hillary.” She went on to say, “It was just her demeanor. I didn’t like her personality. She was too pushy, too everything. Looking back, I would vote for her a hundred times,” she says, essentially rejecting Mr. Trump’s demeanor and personality.

This demonstrates that Trump is wasting energy to tarnish Biden’s image, and that it’s not working. The same voter from Florida also shared with the WSJ that Mr. Biden was “more empathetic” about when Mr. Trump got Covid. The WSJ article further explains that by mid-October, Biden’s positive views outweighed negative ones. Its Journal/NBC News poll does indicate an overall improvement of Mr. Trump’s favorability since 2016. But it remains in double-digit deficit territory as compared to Mr. Biden’s.

At this time, the Democratic nominee has a higher favorability rating than either the president or Hillary Clinton had in 2016. Clinton’s favorability rating was at a high when her tenure as secretary of state was drawing to a close. But, by the time people voted in 2016, Trump’s attacks on her character had her favorability rating upside down.

What Say You?

Your vote is your business. This is just for you to consider on your own. Will you vote 100% on policy? If not, how much attention do you pay towards a candidate’s temperament, relatability, and likability? If your vote gives any weight to these qualities, then one can conclude that executive presence and personal image matters.

With stakes so high, no one really cares about which candidate wears a suit better. But, I’ll end with my decisive professional opinion: it’s Biden. And if you want me to really delve into a comparison, I will. The issue of executive presence as an extension of personal image is worthy of its own exploration. In your professional life, it’s also important to cover all of the bases to ensure that you garner the support you need to win.