Survey Says: Sexist Attacks Negatively Impact Women Candidates, But Calling It Out Regains Points
Here's Susan Page on new survey results from Celinda Lake coming out today:
The poll, taken Sept. 1-8, asked 800 likely voters to listen to descriptions of two hypothetical congressional candidates, Jane Smith and Dan Jones. Half then heard a back-and-forth about the candidates that used the words "ice queen" and "mean girl," then the word "prostitute" to characterize the woman. The other half of the sample heard a political back-and-forth without those labels.
Among the findings:
•The female candidate lost twice as much support when even the mild sexist language was added to a political attack. Her support, initially measured at 43%, fell to 33% after the policy-based attacks but to 21% after the sexist taunts.
•Voters saw her as less empathetic, trustworthy and effective after the sexist attacks.
•Her support rebounded after a mild response — calling the discussion "inappropriate" and turning to issues — and after a more direct counterattack that decried "sexist, divisive rhetoric."
Join me today from 3:30-4:30pm, via livestream, at the Women's Campaign Forum announcement of the survey results and the Name It. Change It. initiative to get this junk out of our politics - and all our other institutions where it still thrives. I will ask if they measured whether there was any downgrading of the sexist speaker because of their chosen method of attack (sexism - intentional or un-).
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