Shaped by the Polls

Candidates’ Popularity Shapes ‘Grand Old Party’ Sex Toys (PHOTOS)

The ‘Grand Old Party’ project offers sex toys based on each GOP challenger’s poll data. See photos.

Matthew Epler

Matthew Epler

Charting presidential candidates’ approval numbers, the majority of which come from pollsters like Gallup or Rasmussen, is a dry science—a world of charts and mindless poll presentations. But what if those reports could be sexier? New York University graduate student Matthew Epler, a master’s candidate at the university’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP), might have the answer in his recently unveiled project, which he’s dubbed Grand Old Party. “Grand Old Party is a data visualization of voter approval rates amongst registered Republicans for each of the GOP candidates,” Epler explains in a video presenting the project. “It’s also a set of butt plugs.” The shape of each of the objects, which are made of midnight black silicon resembling a sex toy with a very specific intent, is determined by voter approval ratings among registered Republicans. The poll data come from Gallup’s website. The width, specifically, is the quantity by percentage out of 100 percent for approval of each candidate. The height of the toy then represents the length of each candidate’s campaign. Available on Epler’s website for $65 a pop (Perry and Bachmann versions retail at $45), the set was a hit at ITP’s Spring Show this week in New York City. (Bonus: read Epler’s pun-filled PDF detailing “the facts” behind Grand Old Party.)

Matthew Epler

Rick Santorum

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.

Matthew Epler

Mitt Romney

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.

Matthew Epler

Ron Paul

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.

Matthew Epler

Newt Gingrich

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.

Matthew Epler

Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry

Bachmann’s and 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.