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Do Eyebrows Win Elections?

The furrowed presidential brow is also a well-groomed one.

So says Michael Gilman, founder of the Grooming Lounge in Washington, DC, who contends that “seven of the past eight [US presidential] elections have been won by the candidate with the best-groomed eyebrows.” Maddeningly, Mr. Gilman leaves us hanging on the exception.

So we took a closer look at the last eight presidential elections, brow to brow...

1980: Reagan def. Carter

1984: Reagan def. Mondale

1988: Bush def. Dukakis

1992: Clinton def. Bush

1996: Clinton def. Dole

2000: Bush def. Gore

2004: Bush def. Kerry

2008: Obama def. McCain

The exception doesn’t exactly jump out at us—though by process of elimination, we can get pretty close:

Clinton’s going to win this and any vanity competition against a Republican every time, so we can confidently cross out ’92 and ’96. Safe to say Dukakis lost (badly) in the grooming department (as well) in ’88. When cartoonists depict your brows like this, it’s time to take swift action. The most stylish senator on the hill, John Kerry, surprisingly sported a bit of a unibrow in ’04. Reagan could have used a pluck in ’80 but wins by default since his opponent actually doesn’t appear to have had eyebrows at all. Everything about Mondale, particularly his eyelid hair, was unimpressive when compared to Reagan in ’84. John McCain (and his eyebrows) were about 174 years old when he lost to Barack Obama in 2008, though his running mate did make up some ground in the grooming department.

Which leaves us, once again, questioning the validity of the 2000 presidential election...