I’m Not Voting for Her: Polling Discrepancies and Female Candidates

I’m Not Voting for Her: Polling Discrepancies and Female Candidates Although there is a large literature on the predictive accuracy of pre-election polls, there is virtually no systematic research examining the role that a candidate’s gender plays in polling accuracy. This is a surprising omission given the precipitous growth of female candidates in recent years. Looking at Senate and Gubernatorial candidates from 1989 to 2008 (more than 200 elections in over 40 states), we analyze the accuracy of pre-election polls for almost the complete universe of female candidates and a matched sample of white male cases. We demonstrate that pre-election polls consistently underestimate support for female candidates when compared to white male candidates. Furthermore, our results indicate that this phenomenon—which we dub the Richards Effect, after Ann Richards of Texas—is more common in states which exhibit traits associated with culturally conservative views of gender issues. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Political Behavior Springer Journals

I’m Not Voting for Her: Polling Discrepancies and Female Candidates

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2010 by The Author(s)
Subject
Political Science and International Relations; Political Science; Sociology, general
ISSN
0190-9320
eISSN
1573-6687
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11109-010-9137-6
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Although there is a large literature on the predictive accuracy of pre-election polls, there is virtually no systematic research examining the role that a candidate’s gender plays in polling accuracy. This is a surprising omission given the precipitous growth of female candidates in recent years. Looking at Senate and Gubernatorial candidates from 1989 to 2008 (more than 200 elections in over 40 states), we analyze the accuracy of pre-election polls for almost the complete universe of female candidates and a matched sample of white male cases. We demonstrate that pre-election polls consistently underestimate support for female candidates when compared to white male candidates. Furthermore, our results indicate that this phenomenon—which we dub the Richards Effect, after Ann Richards of Texas—is more common in states which exhibit traits associated with culturally conservative views of gender issues.

Journal

Political BehaviorSpringer Journals

Published: Sep 16, 2010

References

  • The relationship between gender social identity and support for feminism
    Burn, SM; Aboud, R; Moyles, C

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