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Dec 8th, 2016




sctimes_trump-temperament_full-page

Trump’s Personality Raises Red Flags

immelman_trump-1_jasonwachter-stcloudtimes_2016-11-16
College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University professor Aubrey Immelman, who predicted Donald Trump would win over Hillary Clinton based on their personality profiles, shown Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016. Immelman has predicted presidential winners correctly for the past 20 years. (Photo: Jason Wachter / St. Cloud Times)

By Aubrey Immelman
St. Cloud Times
November 26, 2016

Donald Trump may be the most unideological president of our time. A Democrat from 2001 to 2009 and a Republican before that and after, he has been a major donor to both political parties. What that means as a practical matter is that it’s a crapshoot to handicap the general tenor and specific policy proposals of the looming Trump presidency along predictable party-political lines.

There’s an old saw that the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. True, Trump sometimes does as he says – for example, he has already set the wheels in motion to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership as he said he would on the campaign trail.

On the other hand, Trump seems just as likely, if not more so, to reverse course and go back on his word.

Case in point: his decision this week not to push for further probes of Hillary Clinton’s private email server or the Clinton Foundation – a major breach of his campaign promise that, if he won the election, he would seek a special prosecutor to pursue the matter.

Back to square one in “What Will Trump Do?” prognostication.

Turning to temperament

To anticipate presidential leadership style, a promising course of action is to approach the problem from the vantage point of temperament – the typical character and intensity of a person’s emotional expression.

Temperament has a strong inborn component, emerging very early in life and remaining relatively stable throughout the life course and consistent across a broad range of situations. As such, the construct offers a stable platform from which to predict presidential outcomes.

In practical terms, temperament shares much in common with the notion of “emotional intelligence” – the ability to recognize and understand one’s own emotions and those of others, and to manage one’s own emotions and influence those of others. In short, this capacity for emotional awareness, empathy, and skillful interpersonal relationships is a critical ingredient of leadership effectiveness.

In practical terms, temperament shares much in common with the notion of “emotional intelligence” – the ability to recognize and understand one’s own emotions and those of others, and to manage one’s own emotions and influence those of others. In short, this capacity for emotional awareness, empathy, and skillful interpersonal relationships is a critical ingredient of leadership effectiveness.

Trump’s temperament emerged as a major issue in the 2016 presidential campaign. A Fox News poll conducted after the first presidential debate in September found that just 37 percent of respondents felt Trump possessed the temperament to serve effectively as president, compared with 67 percent for Clinton.

And a New York Times/CBS News poll, also  conducted in September, revealed that most voters considered Trump “a risky choice” for president because he lacked “the right temperament and values.”

Trump personality organization

A psychological study of Trump conducted at the Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics from June 2015 to August 2016 using an “at-a-distance” research methodology revealed that Trump’s predominant personality patterns are outgoing/impulsive and ambitious/exploitative (a measure of narcissism), infused with secondary features of the dominant/controlling pattern combined with low conscientiousness.

Following is a rundown of stable temperamental features of the key personality patterns driving Trump’s political behavior, based on the model of distinguished psychologist Theodore Millon:

  • Outgoing (histrionic) pattern: Poor impulse control. Outgoing individuals are emotionally expressive; they are animated, uninhibited, and emotionally responsive. Their moods are subject to rapid fluctuation, with occasional displays of short‑lived and superficial moods. Regarding political leadership, the attendant risk is a predisposition to impulsive acts; they may be over-excitable, exhibit a pervasive tendency to be easily enthused and as easily bored or angered, make thoughtless, imprudent judgments, and embark on rash or reckless courses of action.
  • Ambitious (narcissistic) pattern: Knee-jerk response to criticism. Narcissistic individuals are socially poised; at their best they are self-confident, optimistic, and cool and levelheaded under pressure and in the face of adversity. Though appearing carefree, nonchalant, and suave, their Achilles’ heel is responding reflexively and petulantly to personal criticism.
  • Dominant (aggressive) pattern: A volatile temper. Dominant individuals present themselves as strong leaders but tend to lack empathy and are prone to irritability; they have a volatile temper they may at times find difficult to control, flaring readily into petty or contentious argument.

immelman_trump-3_jasonwachter-stcloudtimes_2016-11-16
College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University professor Aubrey Immelman describes his personality profile of Donald Trump Wednesday, Nov. 16, at CSB. (Photo: Jason Wachter / St. Cloud Times)

Presidential red flags

Regarding the relationship between temperament and presidential leadership, the two personality traits of greatest concern in the case of Trump are these: first, the perilous combination of sparse political experience and a level of impulsiveness sufficiently unrestrained to have nearly torpedoed his presidential campaign on more than one occasion; and second, responding reflexively to personal slights with a combative temper.

As for Trump’s fitness to lead, the silver lining is that he has shown a willingness to surround himself with levelheaded, competent advisers capable of smoothing the rougher edges of his prickly personality – foremost among them campaign manager Kellyanne Conway and White House Chief of Staff designate Reince Priebus.

Imminently, the next big test for Trump will be whether he can resist the impulse to appoint top campaign surrogate and loyalist Rudy Giuliani – hamstrung by many of the same character flaws as Trump – to the key cabinet post of secretary of state, fourth in the presidential line of succession.

Trump would be well advised to give the nod to his harshest critic in the Republican establishment, Mitt Romney. The very temperamental blandness that made Romney a weak presidential candidate makes him an exceptional choice for the top cabinet post in the Trump administration.

That would be a true test of presidential character.

This is the opinion of Aubrey Immelman, associate professor of psychology at the College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University, where he directs a faculty-student collaborative research program in political psychology, the Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics. Immelman specializes in the psychological assessment of presidential candidates and world leaders.

 


Related reports on this site

temperament_fox-news-poll_9-29-2016

Donald Trump’s Temperament: Trump’s Fitness to be President (Oct. 5, 2016)

The Personality Profile of 2016 Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump (Aug. 9, 2015)

Mitt Romney for Secretary of State? (Nov. 19, 2016)

Mitt Romney’s Personality Profile (June 2, 2011)

Mitt Romney’s Leadership Style (Sept. 3, 2012)

Rudy Giuliani’s Personality Profile (Nov. 25, 2016)

What Role for Rudy Giuliani in Trump Administration, If Not Secretary of State? (Nov. 20, 2016)

 


More » The Political Personality of 2016 Republican Presidential Nominee Donald J. Trump. Working paper, Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics, St. John’s University/College of St. Benedict, October 2016. Abstract and link for full-text (31 pages; PDF) download at Digital Commons: http://digitalcommons.csbsju.edu/psychology_pubs/103/

For additional information, please consult the Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics Media Tipsheet at http://personality-politics.org/2016-election-media-tipsheet/



Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, a contender for the Republican nomination in the 2008 U.S. presidential election, has been floated as a prospect for nomination as U.S. Secretary of State in the Trump administration — and Giuliani has expressed strong interest in this key cabinet post.

giuliani-poster
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Psychological analysis of former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani — a 2000 candidate for U.S. Senate and a 2008 contender for the Republican nomination for president — conducted in 1999-2000 and 2007-2008 by Joshua Jipson, Will Piatt, Catherine London, Julie Seifert, and Aubrey Immelman, Ph.D., at the Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics revealed that Giuliani’s primary personality pattern is Dominant/aggressive, with secondary features of the Conscientious/dutiful and Ambitious/confident patterns. The combination of highly dominant and conscientious patterns in Giuliani’s profile suggests an aggressive enforcer personality composite.

Leaders with that particular personality profile are characteristically tough and uncompromising, with a forceful style that permits them to take charge in times of crisis; however, they are not known for being very diplomatic.

Giuliani’s major personality strength in a high-level leadership role is a forceful, commanding personality style that permits him to take charge in times of crisis and inspire public confidence. His major personality-based limitation is a controlling, occasionally punitive, tendency to control (which may foster divisiveness and animosity).

Based on his psychological profile, Mayor Giuliani would be a riskier choice for Secretary of State than Gov. Mitt Romney, despite the fact that Giuliani is close to Donald Trump and played a pivotal role as a key surrogate in the president-elect’s successful election campaign.

Considering his personality profile and leadership experience in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attack and its aftermath, Giuliani would be better suited as Secretary of Homeland Security or Director of National Intelligence.

More » The Political Personalities of 2008 Republican Presidential Contenders John McCain and Rudy Giuliani. Paper presented at the 30th Annual Scientific Meeting of the International Society of Political Psychology, Portland, OR, July 4–7, 2007. Abstract and link for full-text (30 pages; PDF) download at Digital Commons: http://digitalcommons.csbsju.edu/psychology_pubs/28/

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Related report

The Political Personality of 2012 Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney. Paper presented at the 35th Annual Scientific Meeting of the International Society of Political Psychology, Chicago, July 6–9, 2012. Abstract and link for full-text (35 pages; PDF) download at Digital Commons: http://digitalcommons.csbsju.edu/psychology_pubs/98/

 


Related reports on Rudy Giuliani

Giuliani’s Past is Glimpse of Future

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/18/Rumsfeld_and_Giuliani_at_Ground_Zero_cropped.jpg
Mayor Rudy Giuliani (right) at Ground Zero following the 9/11 attacks, with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Nov. 14, 2001. (Photo: Robert D. Ward / Office of the Secretary of Defense, Public Affairs)

By Catherine London (with Aubrey Immelman)
St. Cloud Times
November 29, 2007 (p. 8B)

Excerpts

In the wake of 9/11, Giuliani’s dominant personality pattern allowed him to capture the public imagination, demonstrating strength in the face of adversity. Yet before the terrorist attacks, the name Rudy Giuliani often conjured images of an unyielding, contentious, prickly mayor nastily denouncing his critics and spitefully retaliating against reporters who dared to pose “moronic” questions to the hardheaded, outspoken “Emperor of the City.”

Giuliani’s forceful, uncompromising manner, though in many ways an asset in his quest to wrest control of the mean streets of New York City from lawless elements, served as a double-edged sword as the public witnessed a voracious appetite for belittling opponents with derisive social commentary. Despite his successes as mayor, Giuliani had developed a reputation for his overbearing and abrasive style, occupying the role of theatrical antagonist on the public stage as New Yorkers watched his fiery outbursts play out against the backdrop of the city.

Giuliani’s forceful rhetoric and oversized personality once again took center stage in the aftermath of 9/11, but this time for the public good. His commanding, authoritative presence, which had sparked so much controversy during his mayoralty, now served him well as he rallied America from his perch atop the rubble of ground zero. …

Throughout Giuliani’s years in the public spotlight, he consistently demonstrated strength of leadership and a commanding presence, which allowed him confidently to take the helm in times of crisis. These qualities are rooted in a personal dynamic best described as an “aggressive enforcer” — a personality composite given substance by a sometimes volatile combination of aggressive dominance verging on hostility and an almost obsessively conscientious tendency that shades into self-righteous rigidity. …

Full report

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Is ‘New Rudy’ the Real Rudy?

Rudolph Giuliani is seen while Mayor of New York City holding a news conference at City Hall - New York, NY - Apr 27, 2000
New York major Rudolph Giuliani holding a news conference at City Hall, April 27, 2000.

By Aubrey Immelman
St. Cloud Times
June 4, 2000 (p. 9B)

Excerpts

Claims of a new Rudy notwithstanding, logic dictates that Giuliani remains the dominant, controlling, aggressive personality whose combative orientation was as instrumental to his successful track record as a prosecutor as it has been in his crusade to clean up the streets of New York City.

But personality style can be a double-edged sword. During his tenure in the mayor’s office, Giuliani has shown a potential for self-defeating rigidity and an unwillingness to compromise, with a penchant for berating his critics and assailing subordinates not acting fully in accordance with his wishes.

While those qualities may be effective in getting the job done in New York City, such fiery zeal may not be the right stuff for success in the U.S. Senate, revered by some as “the world’s greatest deliberative body.”

Giuliani may be better suited for an executive position such as mayor or governor, but the venerable legislative body that is the U.S. Senate is no place for a bellicose brawler in which to advance his political ambitions. …

Full report

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Senate Would Test Giuliani’s Resolve

Photo of New York mayor Rudy Giuliani
New York mayor Rudy Giuliani

By Joshua Jipson and Will Piatt (with Aubrey Immelman)
St. Cloud Times
December 12, 1999 (p. 9B)

Excerpts

The dominant feature of Rudy Giuliani’s personality is a controlling, aggressive tendency, which is an attribute instrumental in his past political successes. …

Our main concern with Giuliani is his larger personality configuration. When a prominent aggressive tendency combines with moral certitude, the resulting personality prototype is the “hostile enforcer.” …

It’s no secret that Giuliani has harbored long-standing presidential ambitions. … But as president, his hostility would have global implications. Diplomacy, a vital tool in foreign policy, is not a prevalent trait in personalities such as Giuliani’s. …

Recently, the New York Observer asked, “Can Rudy Giuliani tame the beast within?” Let’s hope he can, for should he fail, the fire he spouts may scorch not only Washington, but instigate a larger conflagration. …

Full report


Related reports on this site

Mitt Romney for Secretary of State? (Nov, 19, 2016)


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Why Mitt Romney Won’t Win (May 12, 2011)

Mitt Romney’s Leadership Style (Sept. 3, 2012)

Why Mitt Romney Won’t Be President — In Theory (Oct. 29, 2012)

What Role for Rudy Giuliani in Trump Administration, If Not Secretary of State? (Nov. 20, 2016)



Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, a contender for the Republican nomination in the 2008 U.S. presidential election, has been floated as a prospect for nomination as U.S. Secretary of State in the Trump administration — and Giuliani has expressed strong interest in this key cabinet post.

http://media.philstar.com/images/the-philippine-star/headlines/20161116/Rudy-Giuliani-and-Pres-elect-Donald-Trump-during-campagin.jpg
New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani introducing Donald Trump at an October 2016 campaign rally. (Photo credit: Associated Press)

Studies of Giuliani were conducted at the Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics in 1999-2000 when he briefly run against Hillary Clinton for U.S. Senate and in 2007-2008 when he ran for the GOP presidential nomination in the 2008 Republican primary.

giuliani-poster
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Empirical analysis of the data revealed that Giuliani’s primary personality pattern was Dominant/aggressive, with secondary features of the Conscientious/dutiful and Ambitious/confident patterns. The combination of highly dominant and conscientious patterns in Giuliani’s profile suggests an aggressive enforcer personality composite.

Leaders with that particular personality profile are characteristically tough and uncompromising, with a forceful style that permits them to take charge in times of crisis; however, they are not known for being very diplomatic — even in these turbulent times presumably still an asset with some currency in the arena of foreign affairs.

Giuliani’s major personality strength in a high-level leadership role is a forceful, commanding personality style that permits him to take charge in times of crisis and inspire public confidence. His major personality-based limitation is a controlling, occasionally punitive, tendency to control (which may foster divisiveness and animosity).

Based on his psychological profile, Mayor Giuliani would be a riskier choice for Secretary of State than Gov. Mitt Romney, despite the fact that Giuliani is close to Donald Trump and played a pivotal role as a key surrogate in the president-elect’s successful election campaign.

Considering his personality profile and leadership experience in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attack and its aftermath, Rudy Giuliani would be better suited as Director of National Intelligence or Secretary of Homeland Security.

More » The Political Personalities of 2008 Republican Presidential Contenders John McCain and Rudy Giuliani. Paper presented at the 30th Annual Scientific Meeting of the International Society of Political Psychology, Portland, OR, July 4–7, 2007. Abstract and link for full-text (30 pages; PDF) download at Digital Commons: http://digitalcommons.csbsju.edu/psychology_pubs/28/

 


 

Chris Christie White House role uncertain

It is unclear what if any role New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who is being interviewed by the Trump transition team at Donald Trump’s Bedminster golf club in New Jersey today for a possible appointment, might play in the Trump administration — especially in view of the ongoing fallout from the Bridgegate scandal.

Rick Perry under consideration for Energy Secretary

President-elect Donald Trump will meet meet Monday with former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who is reportedly under consideration for Secretary of Energy or Secretary of Defense in the Trump Cabinet.

 


Related reports on this site

Rudy Giuliani’s Personality Profile (Nov. 25, 2016)

giuliani_pie-chart

Mitt Romney for Secretary of State? (Nov. 19, 2016)


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A psychological analysis of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney — Republican nominee in the 2012 presidential election — conducted in fall 2007 by Julie Seifert, Mick Lundstrum, and Aubrey Immelman, Ph.D., at the Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics revealed that Romney’s primary personality pattern is Conscientious-dutiful, with secondary features of the Dominant-asserting and Ambitious-confident patterns. In summary, Romney’s personality composite can be characterized as a dutiful conformist.

The Personality Profile of 2016 Republican Presidential Candidate Chris Christie (Aug. 16, 2015)

Chris Christie poster 2015-08
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A psychological analysis of New Jersey governor Chris Christie — a contender for the Republican nomination in the 2016 presidential election — by Joe Trenzeluk and Aubrey Immelman, Ph.D., at the Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics, revealed that Christie’s primary personality pattern is Dominant/controlling, with secondary Ambitious/confident and Dauntless/adventurous features, along with Outgoing/congenial and Contentious/resolute tendencies. In summary, Christie’s personality composite can be characterized as a dominant, self-confident, risk-taking extravert.

The Personality Profile of 2016 Republican Presidential Candidate Rick Perry (April 24, 2015)

Rick Perry poster 2015-04
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A psychological analysis of former Texas governor Rick Perry — a contender for the Republican nomination in the 2016 presidential election — by Demetre Koukouves, April Donovan, Natalie Lambert, Shuhan Yi, and Aubrey Immelman, Ph.D., at the Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics, revealed that Perry’s primary personality pattern is Dominant/asserting, complemented by secondary Dauntless/adventurous, Ambitious/confident, and Outgoing/congenial features. In summary, Perry’s personality composite can be characterized as a dominant, risk-taking extravert.



Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Republican nominee in the 2012 U.S. presidential election, is being touted as a prospect for nomination as U.S. Secretary of State in the Trump administration.


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CNN reports:

President-elect Donald Trump will meet this weekend with one of his fiercest critics: 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney, a discussion that could include the position of secretary of state. … Romney has long told friends that he would like to serve in government again and the one job he is interested in is secretary of state, a senior Republican with knowledge of the transition tells CNN.

Based on his psychological profile, Gov. Romney earns high marks for temperamental fitness and would be a safe choice for the position.

Romney fits the profile of the dutiful conformist. Leaders with this particular personality profile are characteristically prudent, proper, dignified, dependable, and more principled than most personality types. They are highly organized, with a strong work ethic and careful attention to detail, which accounts in part for Romney’s resounding success in organizational and corporate management and financial restructuring.

More » The Political Personality of 2012 Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney. Paper presented at the 35th Annual Scientific Meeting of the International Society of Political Psychology, Chicago, IL, July 6–9, 2012. Abstract and link for full-text (35 pages; PDF) download at Digital Commons: http://digitalcommons.csbsju.edu/psychology_pubs/98/

Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, a contender for the Republican nomination in the 2008 U.S. presidential election, has expressed strong interest in being considered for this key cabinet post.

CNN reports:

Rudy Giuliani has been mentioned for several potential Cabinet positions in Donald Trump’s administration, but it was clear … that he really wants to be secretary of state. The former New York City mayor spoke Monday about his foreign policy vision at the Wall Street Journal CEO Council and, according to the Wall Street Journal’s description, Giuliani “suggested several times that he would be interested in the (Secretary of State) post.”

Based on his psychological profile, Mayor Giuliani would be a riskier choice for Secretary of State, despite the fact that he is close to President-elect Donald Trump.

Giuliani fits the profile of the aggressive enforcer. Leaders with this particular personality profile are characteristically tough and uncompromising rather than diplomatic, with a forceful style that permits them to take charge in times of crisis.

More » The Political Personalities of 2008 Republican Presidential Contenders John McCain and Rudy Giuliani. Paper presented at the 30th Annual Scientific Meeting of the International Society of Political Psychology, Portland, OR, July 4–7, 2007. Abstract and link for full-text (30 pages; PDF) download at Digital Commons: http://digitalcommons.csbsju.edu/psychology_pubs/28/

 


Topical reports

Secretary of State Nominee Should ‘Complement’ Trump’s Approach


Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker (Photo: Jose Luis Magana via TPM Livewire)

By Caitlin MacNeal
Talking Points Memo
November 17, 2016

Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), who would likely oversee the confirmation hearings for Donald Trump’s secretary of state nominee as chair of the Foreign Relations Committee, said on Thursday that the President-elect “approaches things with an exclamation point” and so needs a secretary of state to “complement” his style.

During an interview on MSNBC, Corker said it would not be appropriate for him to “handicap” potential nominees since he’s likely to oversee the confirmation process. Host Andrea Mitchell then asked what qualities Corker is looking for in a secretary of state nominee, noting that Rudy Giuliani, Newt Gingrich, and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley have all been floated as candidates.

Corker said that Trump needs someone to balance him out.

“We have a president who, let’s face it, approaches things with an exclamation point. I mean, when he does it, he does it in a big way,” the senator said. “And I think what might be good is someone to complement that and to be able to pragmatically go about making things happen in the kind of way that furthers our country’s national interest.”

He also said that the nominee to lead the State Department should have foreign policy experience.

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Note: Mitt Romney is a good fit for Sen. Corker’s description of a pragmatist capable of making things happen.

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Is Mitt Romney Qualified to be Donald Trump’s Secretary of State?


November 19, 2016 — Washington Post political correspondent Philip Rucker tells TODAY that he believes Gov. Mitt Romney is qualified to be secretary of state if he were to be selected by President-elect Donald Trump. Rucker calls Gov. Nikki Haley, another person said to be on the list, a “blank slate” who could travel the world promoting Trump’s vision because “she doesn’t have her own hardened world view the way John Bolton does.” (02:54)


Related reports on Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney’s Personality Profile (June 2, 2011)


As shown in the pie chart, Romney has a primarily Conscientious-dutiful personality, complemented by secondary Dominant-asserting, Ambitious-confident, and Accommodating-cooperative features and a minor Retiring-reserved tendency.

Mitt Romney’s Leadership Style (Sept. 3, 2012)


Research assistants Amanda Nusbaum and Feiran Chen presented their research on “The Personality Profile of 2012 Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney” at the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph, Minn., July 30, 2012.

Why Mitt Romney Won’t Be President — In Theory (Oct. 29, 2012)


Aubrey Immelman and Andrew Obritsch in Chicago at the annual scientific meeting of the International Society of Political Psychology to present their research on Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, July 2012.

What Role for Rudy Giuliani in Trump Administration, If Not Secretary of State? (Nov. 20, 2016)

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/content/dam/news/2016/11/15/giuliani-trump-large_trans++qVzuuqpFlyLIwiB6NTmJwfSVWeZ_vEN7c6bHu2jJnT8.jpg
Rudy Giuliani with Donald Trump during a campaign event in August 2016. (Photo credit: Getty Images via The Telegraph)

Rudy Giuliani’s Personality Profile (Nov. 25, 2016)

giuliani-poster
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clinton-trump_ap
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump (Photo credit: AP)

As polls opened on Election Day 2016, conventional election-forecasting models based on public opinion polling were unanimous in predicting a decisive victory for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in the Electoral College — generally more than 300 electoral votes and a better than 70 percent probability of winning the election.

That is at variance with the Presidential/Personal Electability Index (PEI) developed at the Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics, which has accurately predicted the outcome of every presidential election since 1996, before Super Tuesday — 8 months prior to the presidential election.

The Personal Electability Index projected in August 2015 that Donald Trump would win the Republican primary and go on to beat either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders in the 2016 presidential election.

The PEI heuristic model employs candidate personality traits, as publicly perceived, to predict which contender will resonate most favorably with independent and unaffiliated voters who base their voting choice primarily on the candidate’s personal qualities as publicly displayed rather than on party-political affiliation or allegiance.

Based on those criteria, here are the PEI projections for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump formally released on February 29, 2016:

Donald Trump (PEI = 62; 45 corrected score)
Hillary Clinton (PEI = 39; 29 corrected score)

The PEI model’s predictive utility in recent presidential election cycles appears to derive from the practically even division of the nation into reliably Republican and Democratic voting blocks, essentially yielding the balance of power to politically independent and unaffiliated voters comprising as much as one-third of the electorate.

The PEI model assumes that candidates have been vetted by means of prior election to high-level public office and that they have the near-unanimous support of their political base and party establishment, so Trump’s candidacy violates the model’s fundamental assumptions. Consequently, the PEI may not be sufficiently robust to weather Trump’s unconventional candidacy.

November 9, 2016 update: Turns out the Presidential Electability Index is sufficiently robust.

 


 

Summary of conventional election-outcome projections as polls opened on Election Day

New York Times (‘The Upshot’)

nyt-the-upshot-prediction_11-8-2016

nyt-the-upshot-trendline_11-8-2016

Princeton Election Consortium (Sam Wang)

sam-wang_princeton-prediction_11-8-2016

Rothenburg & Gonzales Political Report

rothenberg-political-report-prediction_11-7-2016

Sabato’s Crystal Ball

sabato-crystal-ball-prediction_11-7-2016

FiveThirtyEight (Nate Silver)

538-nate-silver-prediction_11-8-2016

538-nate-silver-trendline_11-8-2016

Cook Political Report

cook-political-report-prediction_11-7-2016

PredictWise

predictwise-trendline_11-8-2016

 


 

Personal Electability Index data set

The Political Personality of 2016 Democratic Presidential Nominee Hillary Clinton (PDF, 34 pp.)

The Political Personality of 2016 Republican Presidential Nominee Donald J. Trump (PDF, 31 pp.)



The Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics has released political-psychological assessments of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

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Executive Summary: Hillary Clinton

Hillary-Clinton_poster_July-2016
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Full text (34 pages)
The Political Personality of 2016 Democratic Presidential Nominee Hillary Clinton (Working paper, Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics, St. John’s University/College of St. Benedict, October 2016)

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Executive Summary: Donald J. Trump

Trump poster (2016)
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Full text (31 pages)
The Political Personality of 2016 Republican Presidential Nominee Donald J. Trump (Working paper, Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics, St. John’s University/College of St. Benedict, October 2016)

 


 

Comparison of Hillary Clinton’s and Donald Trump’s Profiles
midc-profiles_hillaryclinton-donaldtrump

1A — Dominant: Asserting–Controlling–Aggressive (Sadistic)
1B — Dauntless: Adventurous–Dissenting–Aggrandizing (Antisocial)
02 — Ambitious: Confident–Self-serving–Exploitative (Narcissistic)
03 — Outgoing: Congenial–Gregarious–Impulsive (Histrionic)
04 — Accommodating: Cooperative–Agreeable–Submissive (Dependent)
5A — Aggrieved: Unpresuming–Self-denying–Self-defeating (Masochistic)
5B — Contentious: Resolute–Oppositional–Negativistic (Passive-aggressive)
06 — Conscientious: Respectful–Dutiful–Compulsive (Obsessive)
07 — Reticent: Circumspect–Inhibited–Withdrawn (Avoidant)
08 — Retiring: Reserved–Aloof–Solitary (Schizoid)
09 — Distrusting: Suspicious–Paranoid (Paranoid)
10 — Erratic: Unstable–Borderline (Borderline)

 


 

Related reports on this site

Behind the Clinton E-mails: The Psychological Profile of Hillary Rodham Clinton (March 11, 2015)

Clinton poster
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The Personality Profile of 2016 Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump (Aug. 9, 2015)

Trump poster (July 2015)
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Projecting the Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election: The Personal Electability Index (Feb. 29, 2016)

Donald-Trump_Hillary-Clinton_Getty-Images
Getty Images

Donald Trump’s Temperament: Trump’s Fitness to be President
(Oct. 5, 2016)

temperament_fox-news-poll_9-29-2016



The fallout from the 2005 Access Hollywood video published by the Washington Post Friday showing Donald Trump making crude sexual remarks and bragging in obscene language about sexually forcing himself on women, has plunged the Republican Party into “an epic and historic political crisis” as a growing number of prominent Republicans call on Trump to drop out of the race (“GOP consumed by crisis as more Republicans call on Trump to quit race” by Jenna Johnson and Robert Costa, Washington Post, Oct. 8, 2016).

http://assets.nydailynews.com/polopoly_fs/1.2821853.1475872529!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/article_750/hotmike8n-4-web.jpg
Image: New York Daily News

Trump, who offered “a qualified apology for the remarks” in a video statement, reportedly told the Post “he would not drop out under any circumstances.”

trump-i-will-never-drop-out
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 8, 2016

That is fully consistent with Trump’s personality profile, which for practical purposes is nearly identical (see figure below) to that of Bill Clinton, who was similarly defiant throughout his 1998-99 impeachment saga.

midc-profiles_clinton-trump

The major distinctions between Clinton’s and Trump’s profiles are that Trump is more dominant (aggressive, combative) than Clinton, who is more conflict averse (MIDC scale 1A: Trump = 17; Clinton = 7) and that Clinton is more accommodating than Trump, who is less agreeable (MIDC scale 4: Clinton = 5; Trump = 0).

The key similarity between Trump and Clinton is their primary scale elevations on MIDC scales 2 and 3. Scale 2 (“Ambition”) is a measure of narcissism (Trump = 24, Clinton = 17) and Scale 2 (“Outgoing”) is a measure of impulsive, histrionic tendencies (Trump = 24, Clinton = 15).

The “amorous narcissism” of Bill Clinton and Donald Trump

According to psychologist Theodore Millon, Ph.D., a leading expert on personality and its disorders, the “distinctive feature” of the Ambitious-Outgoing personality composite, which he labeled the amorous narcissist, is an “erotic and seductive orientation” (Millon, 1996, p. 410).

For these personalities, sexual prowess serves to enhance self-worth: “It is the act of exhibitionistically being seductive, and hence gaining in narcissistic stature, that compels,” according to Millon — who adds that, because of their “indifferent conscience” and the pressing need to nourish their “overinflated self-image,” these individuals may “fabricate stories that enhance their worth” (Millon, 1996, p. 411).

Digging through the archives: Bill Clinton’s sexual misconduct and defiance redux

In the wake of the “Access Hollywood” firestorm, I revisited my “Clinton Chronicle” in the archives of the Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics to review my commentary, analysis, and prognostications regarding Bill Clinton, which in my opinion provide a predictive model for how Trump will handle the crisis.

This is what I found:

Do President Clinton’s “Sexual Dalliances” Feed His Male Ego?

By Aubrey Immelman

Sept. 27, 1998 — Tonight, on Fox News Channel’s “This Evening with Judith Regan,” psychologist Judy Kuriansky suggested that the kind of sexual dalliances in which President Clinton reputedly engaged with Monica Lewinsky “feeds a man’s ego.” Though I would not go so far as to cast all men in that mold, there is certainly theoretical support for Dr. Kuriansky’s contention with respect to some personality types – most notably the “amorous narcissist,” whose personality pattern is dominated by narcissistic and histrionic traits.

According to the literature on personality disorders, the “distinctive feature” of amorous narcissists is “an erotic and seductive orientation” (Millon, 1996, p. 410). For these personalities, sexual prowess serves to enhance self-worth; “it is the act of exhibitionistically being seductive, and hence gaining in narcissistic stature, that compels” (or “feeds a man’s ego,” to use Dr. Kuriansky’s turn of phrase). …

Virtually all indicators in Bill Clinton’s personality profile point to a will to fight impeachment and removal to the bitter end. …

Why Bill Clinton Will Not Resign

By Aubrey Immelman

Oct. 9, 1998 — Over the past two months I have been intrigued by the mounting tally of newspapers calling on President Clinton to resign. Not surprisingly, in view of his personality profile, Mr. Clinton is unfazed by those appeals. So certain are some commentators that the president will be unable to prevail that they have all but adopted the mindset of a compulsive gambler on a losing streak who steadfastly believes that his next wager will hit the jackpot.

With reference to the president’s fortunes in the face of revelations and accusations that stick to the president with all the tenacity of water on the back of a duck, Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly, for example, has repetitively expressed the view, “One more thing, and he’s gone.” Perhaps O’Reilly’s unyielding faith in the improbable says more about himself – by all appearances a highly moralistic person with a well-developed sense of decency – than about Bill Clinton, whose inner experience of shame is vastly different.

In situations that would ordinarily elicit shame or humiliation, personalities such as Bill Clinton initially try to screen out negative and judgmental reactions through rationalization and denial, devising plausible “proofs” or alibis to present themselves in the best possible light to salvage their deflated self-esteem. When that fails, these personalities typically become defiant and, if necessary, unleash their self-bolstering rage. Reluctant contrition appears very late in their repertoire, when their confidence is shaken, and even then their experience of remorse or shame is but momentary.

President Clinton has the ability to be unperturbed by circumstances that would prompt most people to hang their head in shame. For that reason, I believe Mr. Clinton is unlikely to resign, unless so pressured by his party that his position becomes utterly untenable. But ultimately, there is no need even for a personality profile to understand why Bill Clinton is practically incapable of resignation: given his obsession with his legacy, it is inconceivable that Bill Clinton would meekly join the ranks of Richard Nixon in the history books as the only president to have resigned from office.

In conclusion, the only plausible scenario in which Donald Trump drops out of the race is if the Republican Party and its electorate abandon their support for Trump in toto.

References

Millon, T. (1996). Disorders of Personality: DSM-IV and Beyond (2nd ed.). New York: Wiley.

For more information, please consult the Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics Media Tipsheet at http://personality-politics.org/2016-election-media-tipsheet/


Related reports on this site

The Personality Profile of 2016 Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump (Aug. 9, 2015)

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Donald Trump’s Narcissism Is Not the Main Issue (Aug. 11, 2016)

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Donald Trump’s Temperament: Trump’s Fitness to be President (Oct. 5, 2016)

temperament_fox-news-poll_9-29-2016



Donald Trump’s temperament has emerged as a major campaign issue in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Item: According to a Fox News poll conducted after the first presidential debate (Sept. 26), 59 percent of respondents felt Trump lacked the temperament to serve effectively as president, compared with 67 percent saying Clinton had the right temperament. (“Fox News poll: Clinton ahead of Trump after debate, fear motivating both sides” by Dana Blanton, FoxNews.com, Sept. 30, 2016)

temperament_fox-news-poll_9-29-2016

Item: “By about two-to-one, voters say that their recent conversations about the election have been more about the candidates’ personalities and comments (59%) than about specific issues or policy positions (32%),” according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted June 7-July 5, 2016. (“Few Clinton or Trump supporters have close friends in the other camp” by Pew Research Center, August 3, 2016)

temperament_pew-poll_7-5-2016

Item: “Most voters consider Donald J. Trump a risky choice for president, saying he lacks the right temperament and values,” with Hillary Clinton seen as a safer option, according to a Sept. 13-16 New York Times/CBS News poll. (“Voters’ view of a Donald Trump presidency: Big risks and rewards” by Patrick Healy and Dalia Sussman, Sept. 15, 2016)

Of course, it’s unlikely most poll respondents have an accurate understanding of the technical meaning of the term temperament. Considering the frequency with which the word is pronounced “temperment,” it’s likely many, if not most, voters understand temperament to refer primarily to a person’s temper – in other words, being irritable and prone to outbursts of anger (i.e., how easily someone flies off the handle), as opposed to having a calm, patient disposition.

The real meaning of temperament

Technically, temperament refers to behaviors linked with emotionality (positive vs. negative affect, the optimism–pessimism dimension) and arousability (passivity vs. activity, a low–high-energy dimension). Moreover, temperament emerges very early in life and is likely to have a heritable (inborn) basis.

A simplified explanation, paraphrasing psychologist Theodore Millon, would be that temperament refers to a person’s typical manner of displaying emotion and the predominant character of an individual’s affect (i.e., emotion), and the intensity and frequency with which he or she expresses it.

In practical terms, temperament shares much in common with the notion of “emotional intelligence,” which refers to the ability to recognize and understand one’s own emotions and those of others, and to manage one’s own emotions and influence those of others. This capacity for emotional awareness, empathy, and skillful interpersonal relationships is a critical ingredient of effective leadership.

Trump’s personality profile

An empirical study of Trump conducted at the Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics between June 2015 and August 2016, revealed that Trump’s predominant personality patterns are Outgoing/impulsive and Ambitious/exploitative (a measure of narcissism), infused with secondary features of the Dominant/controlling pattern.

Following is an outline of temperamental features of the personality patterns most centrally involved in driving Trump’s political behavior, based on Millon’s (1996) model of personality.

Outgoing (histrionic) pattern: Poor impulse control

Temperamentally, outgoing individuals are emotionally expressive; they are animated, uninhibited, and affectively (emotionally) responsive. Their moods can change quickly, with occasional displays of short‑lived and superficial moods. From a political leadership perspective, the attendant risk is that highly outgoing personalities are predisposed to impulsive actions; they may be over-excitable, capricious, and exhibit a pervasive tendency to be easily enthused and as easily bored or angered, leading to thoughtless, imprudent judgments and rash, even reckless courses of action.

Ambitious (narcissistic) pattern: Knee-jerk response to criticism

Temperamentally, narcissistic individuals are socially poised; at their best they are self-confident, optimistic, and cool and levelheaded under pressure. Though appearing carefree; nonchalant, and debonair, their blind spot is to respond reflexively to personal criticism with annoyance, rage, or anger.

Dominant (aggressive) pattern: Lacking in empathy

Temperamentally, dominant individuals are irritable; they have an excitable temper that they may at times find difficult to control. They tend to be lacking in empathy and are disinclined to experience and express warm feelings, complemented by a volatile temper that flares readily into contentious argument.

Political implications

Regarding the relationship between temper (narrowly defined as one component of temperament) and leadership, political scientist Stanley Renshon, in his 1996 book The Psychological Assessment of Presidential Candidates, asserted that its political implications hinges on five critical questions.

  1. Are the temper outbursts occasional or regular?
  2. Are there particular issues that set off the displays of temper?
  3. Does the candidate easily recover from angry episodes, or does he nurse grudges?
  4. Does the candidate berate or belittle those unlikely or unable to retaliate?
  5. Is the candidate aware of, and does he try to control his temper?

To the extent that outbursts of temper (1) occur regularly; (2) are set off by a broad range of issues; (3) prompt grudges that the candidate cannot let go of; (4) are directed at individuals unlikely or unable to retaliate; and (5) are poorly controlled by a candidate who appears to lack insight, the determination may be made that the candidate is unfit to govern.

Trump’s temperament, beyond its less admirable aspects, also embodies passion and straight-shooting candor. But whatever the deeper meaning and political implications of an unruly temper – character, personality, and temperament are legitimate public issues in determining a presidential candidate’s fitness to lead.

References

Millon, T. (1996). Disorders of Personality: DSM-IV and Beyond (2nd ed.). New York: Wiley.

Renshon, S. A. (1996). The Psychological Assessment of Presidential Candidates. New York: New York University Press.


As published: “A question of temperament: Donald Trump’s fitness to lead”

Trump’s personality raises red flags” by Aubrey Immelman (St. Cloud Times, Nov. 27, 2016) » http://www.sctimes.com/story/opinion/2016/11/26/trumps-personality-raises-red-flags/94335366/

More » The Political Personality of 2016 Republican Presidential Nominee Donald J. Trump. Working paper, Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics, St. John’s University/College of St. Benedict, October 2016. Abstract and link for full-text (31 pages; PDF) download at Digital Commons: http://digitalcommons.csbsju.edu/psychology_pubs/103/

For more information, please consult the Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics Media Tipsheet at http://personality-politics.org/2016-election-media-tipsheet/


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The Personality Profile of 2016 Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump (Aug. 9, 2015)

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© 2015 MILLON®                                             (Click on images for larger view)



who-won-the-debate_2016-09-26

See scorecard in lighter-color gray font embedded in the debate preview


Clinton-Trump Presidential Debate Preview

Tonight, Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton will face off against Republican challenger Donald Trump in the first presidential debate of the 2016 election cycle at Hofstra University in New York, in front of an anticipated record-setting 100 million television viewers.

As is customary in presidential debates, analysts and commentators likely will pick a winner and a loser. But while the political pundits attach inordinate value to rational considerations such as the candidates’ command of policy details, the judgment of the average viewer tends to be far more impressionistic, driven by perceptions of the candidates’ personal qualities.

The American National Election Studies (ANES) identified four facets of voter evaluation with respect to presidential character traits – competence, leadership, integrity, and empathy – and since 1984 have asked respondents to rank presidential candidates on those traits.

According to political psychologist Donald Kinder, voters initially screen presidential candidates on the “statesmanlike” traits of competence, leadership, and integrity, and once the statecraft issue is settled look for empathy (warmth and compassion).

Hillary-Clinton_poster_July-2016 Trump poster (2016)
Click on images for larger view

So, how to the contenders stack up on presidential mettle, based on political experience and their personal psychology?

First base: Competence

Clinton has a demonstrable track record of competence in the political arena, though Trump has actively undermined Clinton’s reputation by defining her as an abject failure in foreign policy. However, in the personal department, Clinton outscores Trump on the Millon Inventory of Diagnostic Criteria’s (MIDC) Conscientiousness scale (Clinton = 15; Trump = 0), a psychological measure of competence.

Score strong advantage Clinton.

Scorecard

As expected, Trump hammered Clinton on trade- and foreign policy failures; however, Clinton retained her composure and was largely successful in fending off Trump’s attacks.

Also as anticipated, Clinton displayed superior debate preparation and ability to stay on-message, whereas Trump became increasingly undisciplined and unfocused towards the end of the debate.

Base hit Clinton.

Second base: Leadership

As a former United States senator and secretary of state, Clinton undeniably has more experience in the realm of political leadership, though Trump has touted his own success as a business leader. Psychologically, Clinton has a very slight edge over Trump on the MIDC’s Dominance scale (Clinton = 21; Trump = 17), a quality that voters typically perceive as reflecting strong leadership.

Score slight advantage Clinton.

Scorecard

Clinton not only displayed her political leadership experience but succeeded to a significant degree in undermining Trump’s reputation as a successful business leader. Trump scored points in noting that if Clinton hadn’t been able to fix America’s problems in her long political career thus far, there was no plausible reason to believe she would suddenly start now.

Clinton dominated the latter part of the debate, often forcing Trump to play defense.

Base run Clinton.

Third base: Integrity

It can be said with little risk of hyperbole that both candidates appear ethically challenged. The most reliable MIDC indices of integrity are low scores on the scales of Ambition (a measure of narcissism) and Dauntlessness (risk-taking). Clinton and Trump have identically elevated scores of 24 on the narcissism measure, but Clinton is the clear winner on risk aversion (Clinton = 2; Trump = 9). It is noteworthy, however, that Trump has been more successful on the campaign trail in framing “Crooked Hillary” as being dishonest.

Score slight advantage Clinton.

Scorecard

Clinton was more effective calling into question Trump’s business dealings than Trump was in highlighting Clinton’s ethical lapses and negligence with respect to her private email server. In part, that was due to Trump lacking the discipline to follow through on the email issue and apparently being unprepared to mount an effective attack on Clinton regarding the FBI probe of the email issue.

Missed opportunity Trump; Clinton steals third.

Bringing it home: Empathy

Based on their respective MIDC scores, neither Clinton nor Trump can be characterized as compassionate; however, Trump has the requisite personality traits to project a warm, empathic political persona.

The most direct MIDC measure of empathy is the Accommodating scale, a measure of likableness on which both Clinton and Trump flatline with a score of zero. However, Clinton is no match for Trump in the ability to project empathy. Specifically, Trump outscores Clinton 24 to zero on the MIDC Outgoing scale, a measure of extraversion, energy, and social intelligence – the so-called “beer test” of likability.

Huge advantage Trump.

Scorecard

Trump clearly attempted to conjure up a more compassionate persona; however, he was too easily baited by Clinton and at times allowed her to get under his skin. In addition, he responded to a question on race relations with an argument about law and order. Clinton, purely by dint of superior debate preparation, discipline, and remaining measured and composed — emotional intelligence — successfully prevented Trump from presenting himself as the more likable candidate.

Unforced error Trump; Clinton scores run.

The final score

Clinton will step onto the stage with a clear advantage on “statesmanship” traits of perceived competence and leadership, which gets her to first base. If she can maintain her edge in this veritable “World Series” of presidential politics by demonstrating a superior grasp of policy details and fitness to lead, it should be good enough to get her to second.

Scorecard: Clinton on second.

But from here on it only gets harder for Hillary. The debate moderator can retire Clinton with a force out on a “gotcha” question regarding her honesty, or Trump can tag her out with a rhetorical counterpunch on the character issue.

Scorecard: No “gotcha” question (or follow-ups) from the debate moderator; Trump unprepared to follow through on the email issue; Clinton steals third.

Assuming Clinton manages to steal third, thereby clearing the statecraft hurdle, it’s hard to imagine any scenario in which she can overcome the final psychological barrier to scoring the winning run by presenting herself as warm and likable.

Scorecard: Turns out Clinton did not have to present herself as warm and likable. By merely being well prepared, maintaining message discipline, and retaining her composure, Clinton edged out Trump. Clinton scores.

For Clinton to win, Trump would have to disqualify himself on the grounds of fitness to govern and presidential temperament, thus forfeiting the game.

Scorecard: Trump was generally successful in restraining his volatile temperament and thus did not disqualify himself on the grounds of fitness to lead; however, consistent with his personality profile, he was inadequately prepared and too undisciplined. Trump forfeits Game 1 in the series.

By the same token, if Clinton has another coughing fit or fainting spell, it could be game over in a series-ending strikeout.

Scorecard: No evidence of health issues on Clinton’s part; in fact, Trump was the one who seemed more fatigued by the end of the debate.

Analysis by Aubrey Immelman, Ph.D., Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics.


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