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      Image can make or break a political campaign

      Did Texas Governor Rick Perry TMs brain-freeze during a political debate doom his run for presidency?

      Some believe so, and it's possibly because Perry may have failed to convey some of the things that voters are looking for in a leader, such as credibility and confidence.

      University of Texas at Brownsville Professor John Cook said portraying the right image can make or break a candidate's run for office.

      "They want to be known as trustworthy, they want to be associated with people that are also trustworthy, because credibility is the most important factor in an election campaign," Cook said.

      Even the way politicians convey themselves non-verbally, cook said, can often weigh more in voters TM minds, than the actual candidate's message.

      Cook also said accusations need to be handled quickly and adequately.

      He adds that damage control is one of the hardest aspects of a campaign.

      "The dangerous thing is to ignore it for very long, Cook said. Sometimes when you ignore an issue it goes away, but that's very rare, because both the media and the public are interested in getting at the facts, and if there's something that doesn't quite seem right, then (candidates) need to do something to address it."

      Cook said people need to do the necessary research to educate themselves before they hit the polls, especially during these times when campaigns often come out swinging at each other, fighting for every vote.

      "With the undecided it's a big factor because they want a candidate with a clean slate, Cook said. So, the undecided and the people on the other side, may get a firmer commitment to support the opposition, if something negative comes out against the person they are not in support of."