People have since the creation of cable news have received their information on the candidates through the swayed opinions of the media.
With the ubiquitous use of the Internet they also are trained in being pawns to the social media.
They twit, face, and share all kinds of non critical information about anybody and everybody. So the politicians have tapped into that means of social engineering.
In reality, cable news, and social media are tools to manipulate people. I believe that most people are part sheep, and they like to be liked. So they find the trend and then follow it.
We never really did have intelligent voters because it takes loyalty and not intelligence to be a party voter.
Following the sheep analogy, sheep and loyal party voters only have to follow the herd. All their steps and directions have been made for them, no independent thinking is necessary, or allowed.
So the question is not do politicians Have to behave like celebrities to win votes, but like celebrities, politicians need to make their presence known on cable news, and social media.
Barack Obama won over Hillary Clinton because he had made the best use of the Internet.