Warehouse B
It's In The Name
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Those Double Letters In Candidate’s Names May Impact Election Outcome


By James Donahue


The Iowa victories this week putting Mike Huckabee and Barack Obama at the head of the pack in party races for presidential nominations suggests that an old story about voter choices may be more of a reality than we might wish to admit.


Some years back I met a man who liked to study numbers and statistics. He pointed out that there is an unusual phenomenon among winners in American presidential elections. It seems that candidates with double letters . . . Roosevelt, Hoover, Kennedy, “Bill” Clinton and “Jimmy” Carter . . . always win office because voters appear to like these names.


If you study presidential election history, you will find that the formula works even when candidates only have two of the same letters somewhere in the name. These include Dwight D. Eisenhower (two D’s and three E’s), Richard Nixon (two N’s) and George W. Bush (two G’s).


The irony here is that if Al Gore had chosen to be known by his full name, which is Albert Gore, he probably would have scooped enough extra votes in the 2000 elections to have defeated Bush hands-down. There are two E’s in that name.


Whether caused by a subconscious preference by American voters to choose names with double letters, or some other reason, there is a strange pattern here that needs to be considered by candidates before they spend the billions of dollars it takes to jump into a presidential campaign. It also suggests that the fate of the nation may not depend upon voter common sense.


Thus another Christian fanatic like Mike Huckabee, with three E’s in his name, and the Democratic Party’s Barack Obama, with double B’s, double A’s and best of all, four A’s in his name, were sure favorites to win. That kind of favoritism could just follow both of them right into the Presidential Primary elections this fall. And if it does, and the formula is real, Obama may just become the nation’s first black president.


We say this even though we see stronger presidential fiber in John Edwards, Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul. That both Edwards and Kucinich have double letters in their names may yet give them a chance, but the battle with be all uphill.


If the media would give Kucinich more air time, and treat him fairly, his name, with two C’s, two I’s and a double N in his first name, fits the formula well. He could easily be a winning candidate for the Democratic Party.


Hillary Rodham Clinton also offers voters plenty of multiple letters in her name, as does Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani.


We cannot put these odd statistics aside, but if we could, we would strongly urge American voters to think carefully this year before casting their votes. The choice they make this time around will be the most important one they may ever make.