Perspectives on Gender Stereotypes: How Did Gender-Based Perceptions Put Hillary Clinton at an Electoral Disadvantage in the 2016 Election?

Fatemah Nawabdin
2021 Statistics Politics and Policy  
Research on gender stereotypes has largely emphasized that women candidates are evaluated differently compared to their male counterparts. In this article, I argue that such differential evaluation put Clinton at an electoral disadvantage in the 2016 election. I develop my expectations based on the differences between feminine stereotypes and masculine stereotypes and how voters' perceptions of the latter match the longstanding popular expectations for political leaders, in a way that
more » ... men as candidates and disadvantages women. I also expect that a "gender affinity effect" influenced the election, with Democratic women being more likely to vote for Clinton. In this article, I rely on data from the 2016 American National Election Survey to evaluate the role of gender affinity effect and gender stereotypes in Clinton's electability. The results show that masculine personality traits had the largest effect and were more fundamental for winning the White House. They also show that there was no significant evidence of a gender affinity effect among Democratic women in terms of voting for Clinton. These results offer new insights into voters' gender stereotypic perceptions of Clinton and their consequences for the electoral fortunes of women candidates in general.
doi:10.1515/spp-2021-0014 fatcat:sq7exoixzjgfvj7f35xyesok74