Voters Relate to Candidates' Wives Each Election

By: Jessica Cunnington Email
By: Jessica Cunnington Email

September 9, 2012

As the saying goes, behind every successful man, there is a great woman. Throughout history, Americans have fallen in love with candidates and their wives.

Whether it's the way they talk about their kids, their fashion sense
or the specific causes they promote, voters see something that
attracts them.

"First ladies can humanize their husbands a bit. President Obama has been in office for nearly four years now but still to a certain degree, no one really knows him one-hundred percent," Geoff Skelley, an analyst at the UVa Center for Politics, said.

"It confirms for us, as voters, 'you know what, I was
right about this person, I can see it in her eyes,'" said Cindi Burket, chair of the Albemarle County Republican Committee.

Former First Lady of Virginia Anne Holton campaigned in Charlottesville Sunday for husband, Democratic Senate candidate Tim Kaine. She says she has two roles in his campaign.

"It's listening and spreading my husband's message. And I have fun doing it," Holton said.

Some think the idea of listening to the candidates "other half" speak about them teaches voters a lot.

"In a lot of ways, it reflects the character of the candidate. The
person that they've chosen to spend their lives with, shows a lot
about the person themselves," David Chen, a Charlottesville resident, said.

And as Americans become more and more addicted to reality television, some people say this is all just another show.

"Either it's the drama or the human connection to other people," said Ashley Ayres. "So I think that's why people are so fascinated by their speeches and them as people."

But in the end, Skelley says these women will not move the polls, at all.

"They were used as people who could tell us more about the
candidates themselves and who they are personally. You don't
get that from watching them give a speech on T.V.," he said.

But no matter what happens in the last stretch until the election, candidates' wives will be right by their side on Nov. 6, 2012.

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