Losing at the polls can cause shrinkage in Republicans, study concludes

Testosterone levels in men have much less to do with driving a Hummer versus a Prius and a lot more to do with how their candidates of choice fare at the polls, according to a study conducted by neuroscientists at Duke University.

Published in Scientific American, the study found that men who voted for Barack Obama last November experienced very little drop-off in testosterone on election night, while those who voted for John McCain or Robert Barr not only experienced a decline in testosterone, they also reported feeling “significantly more controlled, submissive, unhappy and unpleasant” after their candidates lost.

It’s unclear whether viewing Glenn Beck immediately returned their testosterone to normal levels, but the study could have startling repercussions for future elections. Although this November likely won’t see huge testosterone spikes – hard to get too excited for school board races and town council elections – next year may see entirely different campaign strategies.

It’s already clear, for instance, that the 2010 Colorado governor’s race will be less about the issues and more about whose oil and gas rig is bigger. Gov. Bill Ritter, besides packing his “New Energy Economy,” is also backing nukes and natural gas. His two main Republican challengers, Josh Penry and Scott McInnis, meanwhile, are sticking to the more straightforward message of “drill, baby, drill.”

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