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The Cosmo Effect: Brown/Johnston 2012?

03/22/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Despite what you may have read about how Martha Coakley ran a bad campaign, or how Massachusetts independents were upset about the health care bill, I think we all know the real reason Scott Brown won his Senate seat: the nude Cosmo photos. Will evidence of this turn up in exit polls? No. Like the Bradley Effect in racially charged campaigns, the "Cosmo Effect" is frequently denied to pollsters because voters are too embarrassed to admit it to others, or even to themselves. But that doesn't mean it doesn't exist.
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You see, when it comes to politics (and pop music), women voters are statistically predisposed to pick the cute guy over the successful woman everytime: That's why the Jonas Brothers dethroned Miley Cyrus atop the Teen Beat charts. That's why Barack Obama beat Hillary Clinton for the Democratic primary. And that's why cutie Joe Biden as a better choice for VP than Sarah Palin. In short, once the Cosmo picture appeared in the Massachusetts race, the smart and accomplished Martha Coakley never had a chance. It's simple electoral demographics: More women vote, and to quote the book I recently co-wrote ("I Am Martin Eisenstadt: One Man's (wildly inappropriate) Adventures with the Last Republicans") where we devote an entire chapter to this effect (p.175):

At the end of the day, they'll vote with their hearts, not their heads. And they'll vote for the cute boy....Don't say I didn't warn you.

And not to be accused of being sexist, I'll also add that Massachusetts' large gay male population (or for that matter, its hetero guys, too) may have also been swayed by the Cosmo Effect. In fact, if you look at the precinct numbers from Provincetown, you'll see that Brown got 15% of the vote, compared to McCain's 11% of the vote in 2008. Aha!

So what's the takeaway lesson? While the assumption has been that the GOP was rudderless without a viable candidate in 2012, it would appear that they now have one. And who better as a running mate for nude male model and now "Senator" Scott Brown? I would suggest none other than Playgirl's own Levi Johnston! Who knows, maybe Johnston picked up a few Veep campaigning pointers from Sarah Palin when they were still speaking to one another? You heard it here first.
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