The Psychology of What The Candidates Wore for the First Presidential Debate

Last Monday, the two candidates for president had their first formal debate. With over 80 million viewers, the debate was the most watched in the history of televised presidential debate. The two candidates had oppositional tactics show their strength: Hillary attempted to show that she was a careful planner and thoughtful speaker by having the press believe that she had been studying around the clock for a very long time preceding the event. Mr. Trump’s technique, to tell everyone that he did little to no prep for the big night, was meant to show that he was able to think on his feet and that he was calm no matter what situation he was in.

However, those were not the only techniques the candidates used to try to win over American voters. Each candidate is considered to be lacking in many ways, so their carefully coordinated outfits helped make up for their many deficiencies.

Hillary Clinton:

The first female democratic nominee for president was outfitted in a red pantsuit. The color red is first and foremost a republican color, a fact not lost on many viewers. In fact, Donald Trump wore blue, a color traditional associated with the democratic party. Many believe Clinton and Trump wore those colors in order to pander to members from the oppositional party who were dissatisfied with their party’s nominee.

That said, it’s useful to more carefully examine the meaning of the colors the Democratic candidate chose to wear. Hillary is criticized by America’s youth for being unrelatable, cold, and out of touch. The red color she chose to wore, interestingly, is psychologically interpreted as “bold,” “exciting” and “youthful.” It seems possible, therefore, that Mrs. Clinton’s hoped young viewers watching the debate to associate her with some of the aforementioned characteristics.


Hillary Clinton at the first Presidential Debate

Donald Trump

Mr. Trump, similarly to Secretary Clinton’s red, wore a Democratic Blue tie when standing on the podium. In the same manner to Clinton’s red, Trump could have been trying to win over Democrats who do not want to vote for Hillary, but blue, like red, has meaning that could help viewers associate Trump with qualities he is not known to possess including dependability, strength, and composure.

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Tonight (9 PM Eastern), tune in to watch the second of the three presidential debates to see where the candidates stand on important issues facing America today, and continue to examine their choice of clothing, posture, and stance for what the candidates are trying to show the American electorate.





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