Women tend to rate clean-shaven men higher

Most Americans don’t know much about John Bolton, the President’s choice to replace H.R. McMaster as National Security Adviser. But just as the President rejected facial hair when he got to work choosing his cabinet and senior advisers after the election, Americans in the latest Economist/YouGov Poll don’t necessarily take to facial hair on men, either. 

But Bolton, mustache and all, has yet to make an impression on many Americans. Nearly four in ten have no opinion of him. Those who do are divided: 26% are favorable towards Bolton, 27% are not. (Opinion about current National Security Advisor McMaster is also divided.) But when asked about replacing the current National Security Adviser with Bolton, there is more disapproval than approval. As one might expect, that assessment is heavily partisan.

Bolton has strongly criticized the multi-nation agreement with Iran to limit its nuclear development, suggesting at one point that a pre-emptive strike against the program would be appropriate. Like Bolton, Americans think there could be a better deal with Iran, but unlike Bolton, they would not pull out of the agreement. But nearly half of Republicans would pull out. 

Bolton also supported the US-led invasion of Iraq and reiterated his support for the 2003 invasion years later. Most Americans today believe the United States should not have invaded Iraq. Only 19% still support that action. Republicans are evenly divided on the Iraq War.

As for that mustache…

Most don’t seem to think facial hair matters when it comes to trustworthiness or intelligence, though being clean-shaven fares better than all the options involving hair. Men and women have very different takes on whether or not facial hair makes a man more masculine or more attractive. On both, women give clean-shaven men the advantage. 

Many have had experience with beards and mustaches. 44% say their father had some sort of facial hair at some point. Seven in ten men have sported facial hair themselves – and most of those have had both a beard and a mustache. While this group seems to think facial hair conveys masculinity, they are divided closely on whether or not it makes a man more attractive.

Men who have never had facial hair come down strongly on the side of the clean-shaven.

Read more topline and table results here

Photo: Getty

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