Social Desirability, Hidden Biases, and Support for Hillary Clinton

psc-494-cover_webSocial Desirability, Hidden Biases, and Support for Hillary Clinton 

Ryan L. Claassen, Kent State University
John Barry Ryan, (@ryanbq), Stony Brook University

An emerging consensus suggests that women are underrepresented in government because of biases in the recruitment process instead of biases at the ballot box. These results, however, are largely for legislative offices, and research suggests that “male” characteristics are generally associated with executive positions like the presidency. At the same time, some research demonstrates social desirability masks gender biases against women who seek the highest office in the land. We use the historic candidacy of Hillary Clinton to examine if she faces hidden biases in either the primaries or the general election. Two different methods for uncovering hidden biases embedded in national surveys demonstrate small hidden biases that are likely electorally inconsequential.

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PS: Political Science & PoliticsVolume 49, Issue 4 (Elections in Focus) / October 2016 pp. 730-735