We investigate how conditions of crisis affect perceptions of charisma and how these, in turn, affect blame attribution and self-sacrificial behavior. Our data are from a 2004 experimental study that preceded the U.S. presidential election, in which we manipulated concerns of a terrorist attack. The results show that those in the Crisis condition rated Bush higher on perceptions of charisma compared to those in the Good Times condition. The Crisis condition also directly and indirectly, via perceptions of charisma, affected whether Bush was blamed for failures in Iraq and our subjects’ willingness to sacrifice their personal resources for his candidacy.
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Merolla, Jennifer L., Jennifer M. Ramos, and Elizabeth J. Zechmeister. “Crisis, Charisma and Consequences: Evidence from the 2004 US Presidential Election.” 2007 Journal of Politics 69 (1): 30-42.