Category: Analysis

Comparing Apples to Oranges? Paying Attention to Measurement in Reporting the Gender Gap in Election 2016

Last week, FiveThirtyEight founder, and editor and chief Nate Silver shared images of an electoral college forecast if only women were to vote in the 2016 general election, based on the most recent polling data. This forecast showed Hillary Clinton defeating Donald Trump in a landslide (458 electoral votes, to Trump’s 80).

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The Politics of “She”

During Sunday night’s presidential debate, you may have noticed a stylistic – and perhaps strategic – difference between the nominees on stage in how they referred to each other. Previous analysis and commentary has focused on whether or not a candidate refers to their debate opponent by title and surname or first name alone, assuming the former is an indicator of respect. This has led to memorable moments like Governor Sarah Palin’s “Can I call you Joe?” request at the start of the 2008 vice presidential debate. But on Sunday, instead of counting references by first or surnames, the more distinctive strategy was whether the candidate used their opponent’s name at all. Just as taking away a person’s title can strip them of the credentials it represents, repeatedly referring to them by pronoun rather than name works to strip them of their identity. And when done in the presence of that person, the choice seems both purposeful and disrespectful.

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The Method to Trump’s Madness?

I know it may not seem like it, but Trump’s decision to try to diminish the significance of his bad behavior in the second debate is more than a function of his alleged narcissism or sociopathy. Rather, it is further evidence of how Trump is trying to rewrite the campaign playbook. Instead of trying to appeal to undecided and centrist voters in traditional ways, Trump has long employed a series of tactics intended to convince median voters that they are really extremists and/or to remind them of the fact that they do not like Bill and Hillary Clinton.

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How are GOP women responding to Trump’s comments?

How are Republican women responding to the release of recorded remarks by Donald Trump in 2005 in which he disparaged and degraded women, and made reference to his ability to physically push himself upon women whom he finds attractive.  We are tracking public statements or comments from the current slate of Republican women in the U.S. Congress and will update this page as new comments are released.

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Flipping the Gender Script in Election 2016

There are many ways in which the presidential election of 2016 will be remembered as historic and unique. We saw the rise of the first woman nominated by a major political party and we have a Republican with no previous political experience defeating a field of 16 candidates, including governors, Senators, and Representatives, to win the nomination. But, from the perspective of gender politics, one of the most amazing aspects of this campaign is that when we discuss personality traits and “temperament” of the candidates, we do NOT hear the woman candidate being labeled as unfit to be president.

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Racial and Gender Reminders for Campaign Appeals

Many of us watched the first presidential debate last week nervously. You may have watched to assess how the two candidates addressed one particular issue of importance or to get an overall evaluation of the candidates. But for scholars of gender and race, the key question was if the two candidates would directly address important issues of diversity.

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