Did Obama coast to victory just because he had a deeper voice than John McCain? Did Alex Sink lose to Rick Scott in the Florida governor's race because of her high-pitched southern twang? New research by a University of Miami political science professor suggests it may be part of the electoral equation.
"Our results suggest that signals encoded in our voices can help us partly explain voting choices," UM political scientist Casey Klofstad tells Wired news.
"We're certainly not excluding a laundry list of other factors, like partisanship or positions on issues," Klofstad said. "What we're saying is that in order to completely understand the choices that we make, we need to acknowledge and explore how biology influences our behavior."
Klofstad conducted the study in conjunction with Duke University Biologists Rindy Anderson and Susan Peters.
Klofstad asked participants to listen to unrecognizable voices set at various pitches, both male and female. The voices spoke, "I urge you to vote for me this November." and then participants were asked to make their decision.
Both lower pitched male and female voices seemed to have an edge, but interestingly lower pitched female voices had a distinct advantage over higher pitched female voices.
Granted, it's only a small part of the mix of things that voters consider, but vocal depth may have more of an effect on less informed voters.
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With that in mind, Riptide has identified a crop of surefire candidates whose voices practically ensure election:
1. James Earl Jones
2. Kathleen Turner
3. That guy from all the movie trailers
4. Professor Girlfriend from The Venture Brothers
5. Morgan Freeman
6. Scarlett Johansson
7. That homeless guy who was an internet meme last year.
8. The Chocolate Rain guy.
9. Yma Sumac
10. Zordan from the Power Rangers
All qualified politicians. Every last one of them. Democracy is flawless.