Negative messaging is an increasingly important tool for candidates. This dissertation examines how candidate gender - both of the sponsoring candidate and of the candidate's opponent - influences negative messaging strategies. Interviews and surveys of campaign consultants reveal that these professionals generally believe that candidate gender is an important variable in decisions about campaign negativity. However, while this feedback from consultants tends to suggest gender differences will emerge in the style, rather than the quantity, of negative messages, an analysis of Congressional campaign commercials from 2000, 2002, and 2004 also reveals gendered differences in levels of negativity.
Finally, the dissertation examines how candidate gender and the gender of the opponent influences the type of issues emphasized in negative messages. Turning again to the Congressional campaign commercial database, I find that candidate gender is a significant factor in issue-focus decisions in negative campaign advertisements.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. August 2009. Major: Political Science. Advisors: Joanne Miller and Kathryn Pearson. 1 computer file (PDF); x, 270 pages, appendices A-H.
Nelson, Kjersten R..
If you can't say something nice: the gender dynamics of negative messaging..
Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy,
Content distributed via the University of Minnesota's Digital Conservancy may be subject to additional license and use restrictions applied by the depositor.