Friday, May 21, 2010

Looking at Gender and Elections in NC

There's a common school of thought in North Carolina politics that female candidates, particularly in Democratic primaries, have a small inherent edge in elections. But when we asked voters across the state last week if they would generally prefer to vote for female or male candidates they said males, albeit by just a 9-4 margin with 86% of voters saying it didn't make any difference to them either way.

The crosstabs on the gender numbers are what makes them interesting. Among Democrats 6% said they preferred to vote for men and 6% said they preferred to vote for woman. But among Republicans there was actually a very wide gap with 16% saying they'd rather vote for men and only 2% expressing a preference for women.

Both men (10-2) and women (8-6) said they were more inclined to vote for male candidates.

So are you more likely to get elected to office in North Carolina if you're a man? I doubt it. There may be more people who are willing to come right out and say they'd rather vote for male candidates, but the track record of female candidates in recent elections is too strong to ignore. Candidate gender is pretty much a wash.
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