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Political Smile Analysis

Can a Smile Predict the Election?
Smile Analysis Has Predicted Candidate Likability for Over 40 Years

A new and unusual metric is being used to predict the outcome of the 2016 election. It is called the Smile Score and it is based on facial analysis and body language. Tampa based Facial Plastic Surgeon Dr. Rich Castellano takes us inside this ranking system, and shows how it has worked throughout history.

Castellano has analyzed the smiles of previous presidential candidates, as well as candidates for the 2016 election.  This was based on the top 20 face images found when searching Google TM for the candidate’s first and last name.

Below are his results:


Using behavioral and non-verbal communication analysis, Rich ” The Smile Dr.” Castellano has demonstrated that scoring the “Smiles” of presidential candidate’s photos accurately portrays the outcome of every election since 1976.

Below are the scores from each presidential candidate. When compared head-to-head in each election, it shows that the candidate with the higher Smile Score consistently won the race. 

*See below information on the smile rating scale and system 

smile-score-part-2         smile-score-part-3



*To compare the smiles of the candidates, Dr. Rich performed a Google image search on the first and last names of the presidential candidates over the past 40 years.  For the first 20 images of the face, they were rated 0 to 10 on their smile, with a 0 meaning no smile at all, and a 10 meaning the biggest smile possible.
Dr. Rich calculated this based on the average of their 0-10 scores, and also on a 3 point scale: a top third score (7 to 10), a middle third score (4 to 6) and a lower third score (0 to 3).  If the smile was in the top third, it was given three points, while middle third received 2 points, and lower third received 1 point.
Results show that the person who won the presidency also had a higher ranking smile score.

Trump vs Clinton Smile Score

Using the same system, Dr. Rich scored and compared the top 20 images based on Googles search rank for the terms “Hillary Clinton” and “Donald Trump.” He also gave a score to the photos on the presidential website which they have total control over.

Here are the results:


1st Ranking Image Donald Trump:


Donald looks serious, no hint of a smile, eyebrows are raised, and he looks to be very assertive, almost angry. (Photo Credit:

Smile ScoreTM = 0 (lower third)

2nd Ranking Image Donald Trump:


Donald still looks serious, no hint of a smile, eyebrows are also raised, and he is assertive, though less angry. (Photo Credit:

Smile ScoreTM = 0 (lower third)

3rd Ranking Image Donald Trump:


Donald looks very confident, wearing a slight yet powerful smile that no one can knock off of his face. His eyebrows are lower, perhaps due to bright lighting, and he gives big thumbs-up. (Photo Credit:

Smile ScoreTM = 6 (middle third)

4th Ranking Image Donald Trump:


Donald wears a bigger smile, a bit forced which is a common way to “power through” a difficult or negative situation. He is squinting his eyes slightly which is another sign of a real smile (a.k.a. Smizing). It looks to me to be genuine, and he is doing his best to give it an extra oomph! (Photo Credit:

Smile ScoreTM = 6 (middle third)

5th Ranking Image Donald Trump:


Donald wears his biggest smile yet, less forced and still pushing a bit. You can see more of the smile in his eyes. (Photo Credit:

Smile ScoreTM = 7.5 (upper third)

6th Ranking Image Donald Trump:


The Donald is on a run here, with a warm, open mouth, full-on smile. He is smiling with his eyes, and emphatically gesturing with an open, upward palm! (Photo Credit:

Smile ScoreTM = 9 (upper third)

7th Ranking Image Donald Trump:



Donald lost his smile again, and he bares his teeth as he drives his point home! Eyebrows with tension to reinforce his message. (Photo Credit:

Smile ScoreTM = 0 (lower third)

8th Ranking Image Donald Trump:


Donald wears no smile, and is serious! The president must make some heavy decisions, and the gravity of this moment affords no smile. (Photo Credit:

Smile ScoreTM = 0 (lower third) 

9th Ranking Image Donald Trump:


Donald shows his serious side. The eyes show tension yet there is a softening of his expression. (Photo Credit:

Smile ScoreTM = 1 (lower third)

10th Ranking Image Donald Trump:


Donald is playful, wearing a smile and eyes almost closed. Perhaps he uses a bit of silliness here, as this is a powerful tool to help others smile. Forcing it a bit, though always confident and in control. (Photo Credit:

Smile ScoreTM = 7 (upper third)

11th Ranking Image Donald Trump:


Donald wears no smile again, and looks to be very attentive. (Photo Credit:

Smile ScoreTM = 0 (lower third)

12th Ranking Image Donald Trump:


Donald wears little expression, eyebrows raised, and appears to be listening intently. (Photo Credit:

Smile ScoreTM = 0 (lower third)

13th Ranking Image Donald Trump:


Donald is poised, smiling, and attending to the fine details of his commanding appearance. His eyebrows are down with some tension, and his his expression is a bit softened. (Photo Credit: Credit: AP/LM Otero)

Smile ScoreTM = 5 (middle third)

14th Ranking Image Donald Trump:


Pursed lips are harder to score, he gets some credit for animating himself. (Photo Credit: REUTERS/Scott Morgan)

Smile ScoreTM = 3 (lower third)

15th Ranking Image Donald Trump:


Flat expression, appears to be listening, eyebrows raised and at attention. (Photo Credit:

Smile ScoreTM = 0 (lower third)

16th Ranking Image Donald Trump:


Donald is speaking, no smile, animating with his hands. Eyebrows relaxed, mouth open. (Photo Credit:

Smile ScoreTM = 0 (lower third)

17th Ranking Image Donald Trump:


Here you can see a hint of Donald’s smile. His eyebrows are relaxed and his hand is confidently placed in front of him. (Photo Credit: (AFP/GETTY)

Smile ScoreTM = 1 (lower third)


18th Ranking Image Donald Trump:


The Smile is back! Donald’s eyebrows are relaxed and although there is slight strain, his eyes are participating in the smile. (Photo Credit

Smile ScoreTM = 6 (middle third)

19th Ranking Image Donald Trump:


Clearly this photo was taken mid sentence but Donald has no smile, mouth open, hands up. One eyebrow is higher than the other, and Donald is delivering with great strength. (Photo Credit with credit to

Smile ScoreTM = 0 (lower third) 

20th Ranking Image Donald Trump:


Ouch! Currently Donald is in damage control over this issue. No smile and he is listening attentively.  (Photo Credit: Rob Kim/Getty Images)

Smile ScoreTM = 0 (lower third)


1st Ranking Image Hillary Clinton:


Hillary is beaming, smiling wide, showing teeth, mouth slightly open. Brows are relaxed and the eyes only participating a little. (Photo Credit:

Smile ScoreTM = 8 (upper third)

2nd Ranking Image Hillary Clinton:


Hillary is more serious, yet still smiling. Her eyebrows are relaxed and the eyes are squinting only slightly. (Photo Credit:

Smile ScoreTM = 5 (middle third)

3rd Ranking Image Hillary Clinton:


Hillary is pouring it on, big smile, teeth showing, and mouth slightly open. Her eyebrows are very high and the thumbs up shows the extra effort. (Photo Credit:

Smile ScoreTM = 8.5 (upper third)

4th Ranking Image Hillary Clinton:


Hillary is presidential and serious, with the slight tension of a smile around the mouth. Her eyebrows are relaxed and the eyes are not participating in the smile. (Photo Credit

Smile ScoreTM = 1.5 (lower third)

5th Ranking Image Hillary Clinton:


Bigger smile, yet the eyes are not participating which makes it look less genuine. (Photo Credit:

Smile ScoreTM = 5 (middle third)

6th Ranking Image Hillary Clinton:


Hillary is laughing, mouth wide open, though her eyes aren’t participating fully. Her eyebrows are relaxed and the eyes are squinting only slightly. (Photo Credit:

Smile ScoreTM = 9 (upper third)

7th Ranking Image Hillary Clinton:


Hillary is relaxed and smiling big but you can see that her eyes are still holding back. She is still maintaining control and is not surrendering to her smile.  (Photo Credit )

Smile ScoreTM = 8 (upper third)

8th Ranking Image Hillary Clinton:


Hillary looks bored and has no smile. Her eyebrows are raised slightly as if she is listening.  (Photo Credit:

Smile ScoreTM = 0 (lower third)

9th Ranking Image Hillary Clinton:


Hillary Clinton 9th Ranking Image – Hillary is relaxed and confident. Her brows are rested and she looks attentive. (Photo Credit:

Smile ScoreTM = 2 (lower third)

10th Ranking Image Hillary Clinton:


Although this photo is clearly taken mid sentence, the corners of Hillary’s mouth are slightly turned up, not enough however to be considered a smile. (Photo Credit:

Smile ScoreTM = 0 (lower third)

11th Ranking Image Hillary Clinton:


Hillary is laughing again, a sporting a wide, open-mouthed smile.  Her eyes are also wide open and the eye muscles are engaged; the sign of a true smile. (Photo Credit:

Smile ScoreTM = 9 (upper third) 

12th Ranking Image Hillary Clinton:


Hillary has a big welcoming smile and is attentive and confident. Her eye muscles are activated and smiley. (Photo Credit

Smile ScoreTM = 8 (upper third)

13th Ranking Image Hillary Clinton:


Hillary is relaxed with no smile. (Photo Credit:

Smile ScoreTM = 0 (lower third)

14th Ranking Image Hillary Clinton:


Hillary shows tension and no smile.  (Photo Credit:

Smile ScoreTM = 0 (lower third)

15th Ranking Image Hillary Clinton:


Hillary shows confidence, attentiveness, and self-assurance. Her mouth is smiling and her face is relaxed but her eyes are barely engaged. (Photo Credit:

Smile ScoreTM = 1 (lower third)

16th Ranking Image Hillary Clinton:


Hillary looks startled, no smile.  (Photo Credit:

Smile ScoreTM = 0 (lower third)

17th Ranking Image Hillary Clinton:


Hilary is alert and listening. No smile, no charm.  (Photo Credit:

Smile ScoreTM = 0 (lower third)

18th Ranking Image Hillary Clinton:


Hillary has a big smile though it looks a bit strained. (Photo Credit:

Smile ScoreTM = 7 (upper third)

19th Ranking Image Hillary Clinton:


Hillary has a big welcoming smile, looks confident and the eyes are more involved. (Photo Credit:

Smile ScoreTM = 9 (upper third)

20th Ranking Image Hillary Clinton:


Hillary has a big welcoming smile, Her eye muscles are activated and she appears attentive and confident. (Photo Credit:

Smile ScoreTM = 9 (upper third)



According to this analysis, Clinton has a higher ranking smile score than Donald Trump.

Good communication, among other things, is a key element of winning any election. Elections are simply competitions on who can communicate and connect most effectively with the electorate. Again, the significance of the smile shows that humans can be very predictable in how we choose our relationships.

To remove the media bias, just watch for yourselves how much each candidate smiles when representing themselves, discussing the issues, and in the debates. More importantly, how good are they at getting their bosses, the constituency, to smile?


The way we vote is often the way we live our lives. Those who want to live more positively will tend to vote for whomever makes them smile. Those who live with more anger will lean towards voting for the candidate that resonates most with this feeling.

This is not about who is better for the job. The question Castellano asks is, “who is it that more people relate to?”  and this usually decides who they will vote for.

But this raises a bigger question…

What do we really see when we look at the presidential candidates? Is it the real reflection of Donald or Hillary? Or is it just a reflection of ourselves, the American public, that we see looking back at us?



Headshot (Smile Doctor)

Wall Street Journal best-selling author, Dr. Rich (also known as “The Smile Dr.”) is a double board certified facial plastic surgeon and facial analysis expert. He travels the country training doctors, healthcare providers, and entrepreneurs in innovative non-verbal communication found in his bestseller, The Smile Prescription. Dr. Rich is currently the #1 Double Board Certfied Facial Plastic Surgeon Bellafill injector in the world, and the #1 Radiesse injector in the Tampa Bay Area. He is the first facial plastic surgeon in the world to regularly broadcast his surgeries and procedures LIVE to thousands of viewers across the globe on and FB. Dr. Rich has made hundreds of live appearances including guest interviews on The Daily Buzz, FOX, NBC, ABC, CBS, and numerous other media outlets.