Daily Debriefing

by Compiled by Victoria Boggiano | 11/8/06 6:00am

Short, silent video clips of debate footage between political candidates are better indicators of election winners than reports of economic conditions, according to a study conducted by Dartmouth, the University of Chicago, Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government and the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research.

"We found that snap decisions based on charisma are a good predictor of election outcomes," Dartmouth economics professor and study co-author Daniel Benjamin said. "But you need to measure charisma with silent video clips rather than sound-on clips because knowing about candidate policy positions disrupts people's ability to judge the non-verbal cues that really matter."

The study's findings reflect that candidates' visual characteristics can influence voter judgment and that charisma is important to election victories.

Luther Lindsey Leeger '46, founder of the City of Del Mar in San Diego, California, died at the age of 83 on Oct. 28. Leeger served in the U.S. Army from 1945 to 1947 and then attended Harvard University Law School. Upon graduating, Leeger traveled to San Diego, Calif., where he served as deputy district attorney. After marrying Joan Edith Currey, Leeger opened a private general law practice in downtown Del Mar and worked with a few other men to incorporate the City of Del Mar. In 1965, Leeger, his wife and his children moved to Rancho Santa Fe where he kept a variety of animals including goats, pigs and chickens. Leeger was appointed municipal court judge in Vista in 1979 by Gov. Jerry Brown. From 1980 to 1999 he served as a Superior Court judge.

A bachelor's degree is worth $23,000 a year according to a government report released on Thursday. This value is the average difference in income between college and high school graduates. In 2004, college graduates reportedly made an average of $51,554, while high school graduates made $28,645. Twenty-eight percent of adults older than 25 surveyed in 2005 had a bachelor's degree, which is a four percent increase from 2000. Cecilia Rouse, an economics and public affairs professor at Princeton University, said in a Boston Globe article that the country has been able to get many people into college, though the number of people who graduate is less promising. This is because high school graduates are often unprepared for college's rigorous academics.

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