New Hampshire State Rep. Steve Vaillancourt wrote a long blog post predicting the outcome of the race in the state's 2nd Congressional District on one factor: incumbent Democratic Rep. Ann McLane Kuster's looks.
"Let's be honest. Does anyone not believe that Congressman Annie Kuster is as ugly as sin? And I hope I haven't offended sin," Vaillancourt wrote on NH Insider, a New Hampshire politics blog.
By contrast, he wrote, Kuster's Republican challenger, State Rep. Marilinda Garcia, is "one of the most attractive women on the political scene anywhere, not so attractive as to be intimindating [sic], but truly attractive."
Vaillancourt writes that he was inspired to write the post after hearing "some polling data which went by too fast for me to write down."
"I seem to recall hearing that a new survey is out revealing that, with two caveats, an attractive candidate can have as much as a seven to ten point advantage over a less attractive (or even an unattractive) candidate," he wrote.
Though he acknowledges, "I'm not sure how valid the polling data is," he goes on to say the caveats of that theory are that the two candidates must be the same gender, and that, "the attractive candidate not be so drop dead gorgeous as to intimidate those watching."
He goes on to tell a story of a "rather attractive drag queen" that he saw in Montreal the previous weekend standing outside of a bar called Mados that features men dressing as women ("not that there's anything wrong with that," he says).
"How ugly is Annie Kuster?" he begins. By the end of the story, he concludes, "By now you probably know why I think of Annie Kuster whenever I walk by Mados; sad to say, but the drag queens are more atrractive than Annie Kuster....not that there's anything wrong with that."
Vaillancourt writes that for years he promised himself "not to use this anecdote," but that, "after seeing the story about the seven to ten point boost for the attractive, the story has political relevance."
"Annie Kuster looks more like a drag queen than most men in drag," he concludes.
Vaillancourt seemed to realize the post might cause a backlash, because he warned readers at the top that "the subject matter, although very real, may prove uncomfortable for some of my more sensitive readers."
"Thus, to avoid the PC police sending out a warrant for my arrest, I offer an advance warning," he said (with the promise that "I don't plan to say anything really offensive here.").
Garcia released a statement calling the comments "sexist" and saying they "have absolutely no place in political discourse.
"Both Rep. Kuster and I have experienced this unfortunate reality of being a woman in politics. I hope that as time moves forward and more female candidates run for political office around the country, people will focus on the content of our ideas rather than what we wear and how we look," she said.