Voters' Criteria for President Shifting Since 2016

Failed U.S. Senate candidate Robert “Beto” O'Rourke is on nearly every Democrats' wish list for president in 2020 -- a clear indication resumes no longer matter to U.S. voters.

Congressman O'Rourke's stock has only risen since losing to Sen. Ted Cruz, meaning the criteria for becoming president has clearly shifted since President Trump took office.  Now it's all about the number of eyeballs you reach over television and social media.

“You can get well known without necessarily having done a lot,” says Dr. Brandon Rottinghaus, political science professor at University of Houston.  “You can also prioritize a message, especially to core groups, over a broader scope of your ability to get that accomplished.”

Rottinghaus says we've seen these shifts before in U.S. politics.

“Politicians who were elected during the progressive era were different than they were during the founding era, they're all different from today,” he says.  “So the scope of exactly what people care about changes because the politics of the moment are changing rapidly.”

The landscape now has become more celebrity driven.

“People can get famous for all sorts of reasons and politicians are no different,” says Rottinghaus.  “They are people who have the ability to capture the public sentiment and capture what the public is interested in, and that's a difficult thing to do in a world where there is so much going on all at once.”

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