Can a candidate's charisma influence voters in the midterms?

Kim Glovas
November 02, 2018 - 8:30 pm
Bucks County Congressional Race

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — As we enter the final days of this election cycle, how does charisma factor into how people vote?

Villanova University associate professor Vincent Lloyd, who teaches theology and religion, said there are two sides to a magnetic personality: democratic and authoritarian.

"Both Martin Luther King and Adolph Hitler have this power of charisma," he said. "So it's important to figure out, is there a good kind of charisma, is there a bad kind?"

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Lloyd believes President Donald Trump has authoritarian charisma, which provides an echo chamber to certain beliefs.

"There's a kind of desire to hear what we're expecting, like what our social media peeps are telling us about immigration or trade or about race," he added, "and then leaders who are telling that in a way that closes off our critical capacities, our desire to ask questions and follow up."

Lloyd said democratic charisma does encourage questions and new ideas. That trait, he added, is more common in teachers or those we trust to guide us in important life decisions.