NYU graduate student Matthew Epler decided to make the GOP candidates' approval numbers sexier by visualizing them as a series of butt plugs. The shape of the plug is determined by the candidates' popularity. The width is the quantity by percentage out of a hundred for approval of each candidate. The height represents the length of each candidate's campaign.
Romney’s sex-toy representation grows in size steadily from base to tip, representing the former governor’s gradual increase in popularity as Republican voters grew to accept him as their eventual nominee.
Santorum’s toy can hardly support its own density—when left to its own devices, the object falls on its side. Its shape clearly represents the former Pennsylvania senator’s late surge in national polls just before suspending his campaign last month.
Steady as she goes was Ron Paul’s campaign. His toy, long and slender, looks steady, too. Squint your eyes and you almost see the Texas congressman standing up on stage, strong in his principles, unwavering in the face of a 24/7 political campaign.
Newt Gingrich’s sex toy shaped by the polls begins with a wider base, and his mid-campaign surge is clearly represented by the widened shape halfway up the object’s shaft. But its girth never quite recovers—the toy, like his campaign, narrows out toward the tip until it is no more.
Michelle Bachmann’s and Rick Perry’s plugs are short (though their campaigns were anything but painless). With approval ratings that never surged past 10 percent and campaigns that ended within weeks of each other, they’re the shorter of the bunch.