Was someone short on fact-checkers?

I generally assume that everyone knows how to use Wikipedia, but it seems not. From today’s Age:

Reports suggest that in the 19 American presidential elections between 1888 and 1960, the candidate with a height advantage won all but one.

As Wikipedia notes, between 1888 and 1960, Coolidge, McKinley (twice) and Harrison all beat their taller opponents.

More generally:

For the 47 elections in which the heights of both candidates are known, the taller candidate won 29 times (approximately 62% of the time), the shorter candidate won 15 times (approximately 32% of the time), and the candidates were the same height three times (about 6% of the time). If the scope of elections is restricted to 1900 and on, only 6 out of 28 elections were won by the shorter candidate.

Full table of US Presidential candidate heights here (and Canadian Prime Ministers here, but nothing for Australia – does anyone feel like creating one?).

Update: Regular reader Alistair Campbell takes up the challenge, posting a Google spreadsheet with heights for the PM and Opposition leader. Anyone with more information, please update it (I suspect there is much that is hidden in biographies).

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4 Responses to Was someone short on fact-checkers?

  1. nfpsheppard says:

    Well Bob Hawke beat Malcolm Fraser for starters…

  2. Alistair Campbell says:

    I’ve been looking for a task for procrastination…..I’ll try and start one up at uni today…

  3. Alistair Campbell says:

    I have decided to add a couple more fields. Weight, age (I would assume already done before), eye colour….. All relatively pointless, but I would be interested to look at trends…. I don’t think too many people change their vote based on the eye colour of the candidates, but it is possible!

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