Isopraxism (EYE-so-PRACKS-izuhm) is a phenomenon occurring in the natural world among a great variety of animal life, humanity
included. More commonly called “mirroring” , it is an accepted tenet in psychological studies of human behavior. It is manifested by
persons imitating gestures, body language, attitude, metaphors and other aspects of communication. Today, 39 days out from the
Presidential election, isopraxism is becoming more common throughout the electorate.
You hear it in the speech of the candidates and the tone, tenor and carriage of their messages. President Obama looks relaxed, yet
at the same time, determined. Candidate Romney looks overwrought, harried and desperate. However, this phenomena is deeper
than the appearance of the candidates. Isopraxic behavior will now be exhibited among peer groups of the candidate supporters
and extend into the Venn overlap group of their undecided peers. As more negative connotations become apparent in relation to
candidate Romney, the isopraxic sequiter will be the generation of more negative feelings on a subconscious level. In relation to the
President, the converse should be true as well, as the President’s confidence level becomes more apparent, so does it become in
his supporters and into overlapping peer groups.
The exhibition of this isopraxic behavior will be manifested especially distinctly as people react to candidates statements in the
company of their peers. Persons will relate their feeling in reaction to, for example, candidate Romney’s assertion about the “47
percent”, where persons might ask rhetorically, “Can you believe he said that?” or “Why would he say something like that?” in order
to gauge the depth of similar or dissimilar feelings among their peer group. As for the President, while his supporters often evince
disappointment in his lack of fulfillment of previous promises, they also sense his confidence in the face of setbacks and recognize
their own determination “mirrors” the President’s. They might say, “He didn’t get it all, but he keeps trying”, or “He worked to get us
this far, I think he’ll keep working.”
The phenomena exhibited in recent polling displays, I believe, the isopraxic nature of our fellow citizens. More of them find the
President’s stance, while delivering his message, as positive, confident and exhibiting a “winning” attitude while see the converse in
the nature of candidate Romney. Oddly, it seems that candidate Romney is actually overshadowed by his vice presidential selection
in this aspect, but rarely, if ever, does the down ticket candidate influence the voters selection in a presidential contest. As more
citizens see their peers breaking for selection of the President, the isopraxic nature of human behavior is re-enforced, and support
for the peer preferred candidate swells.
Does this mean that candidate Romney is doomed to fail in the election? Absolutely not. There is always the possibility a gaffe or
development beyond the President’s control could cause a shift in the nature of perception of his candidacy, leading to surge that
could allow a shift toward candidate Romney and a reversal of the isopraxic behavior of the remaining undecided voters and
previous opponent support that comprise a path to electoral victory.
But, as it stands today, 39 days out, the President’s lead is commanding and expanding, while the opponents position is ebbing and
decaying. Might we see a rise in candidate Romney’s polling? It’s certainly possible, for remember, if you drop it from a great enough
height, even a dead cat will bounce.