Analysis Finds That Women Tend to Run More Sophisticated Political Campaigns Than Men

A new study by a researcher at the University of Cincinnati finds that women tend to run more sophisticated political campaigns than their male counterparts. Yet, women’s propensity to run superior campaigns has not produced significant success at the ballot box.

David Niven, a leading political researcher and associate professor of political science at the University of Cincinnati analyzed more than 1,300 surveys distributed to local and statewide candidates in the 2016 election.

Niven’s measure of campaign sophistication is based on how many details candidates provided in their responses. Niven found that more successful candidates tended to answer questions with general, thematic responses, while less successful candidates wallowed in specifics. “Overall, we found that women candidates are less likely to get caught up in details that, quite frankly, can lose votes and get in the way of the candidate’s message.”

According to Niven, “women tend to take the prospect of a political campaign more seriously, and their campaigns reflect that. Even when a woman is running in a difficult district, she is likely to make a serious effort.” By contrast, Niven said, “men will run for office at the drop of a hat. In long shot circumstances, men’s campaigns tend to be very amateurish.”

The full study, “Who Reveals, Who Conceals?: Candidate Gender and Policy Transparency,” was published on the website of the journal Political Science Quarterly. It may be accessed here.

Filed Under: Research/Study


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