How Rubio acts is more important than anything he says.

How Rubio acts is more important than anything he says.

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Voters don’t judge candidates on their detailed policy proposals. What candidates have to say is less important than how they say it. Voters are trying to figure out what sort of a person each candidate is. The best evidence voters have is how those candidates act.

This is a smart video for Marco Rubio. Among voters, he is relatively unknown. Viewers see Rubio relaxed and smiling, throwing a football back and forth with someone off screen. He seems like a nice guy–young, smart, confident, but self-effacing.

The video ignores controversial issues. At this point in the campaign, all Rubio needs to do is create the right impression and avoid missteps. The video does that job.

Later, other candidates will work to associate Rubio with some of his positions that may be less popular. At that point, he can fight back.

If Rubio seems likeable, voters will look at what is positive about those points of view. If Rubio seems unlikeable, voters will interpret those points of view negatively. It’s a good idea to begin by making a positive first impression.

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