Issue salience and gender differences in congressional elections, 1994-1998

Lilliard E. Richardson, Patricia K. Freeman

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Abstract

We examine how male and female voters differ in their use of issue salience in congressional voting. We use American National Election Survey (ANES) data for 1994, 1996, and 1998 to construct a multivariate model of gender differences in partisan voting in U.S. House races. We use four categories of independent variables: demographics, ideology, economic evaluations, and issue positions. A logistic regression for each election, by sex, was tested. Our results suggest that although there are similarities in how issues are politicized in presidential and congressional voting decisions, the patterns are not identical. Second, issue salience is not uniform across elections. Third, women are slightly more likely to attach greater weight to economic evaluations and social spending. Fourth, there is only weak evidence that group identity influences women's congressional voting. Finally, we find that men focused on the Clinton scandal in 1998, but women also used other issues in choosing how to vote.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)401-417
Number of pages17
JournalSocial Science Journal
Volume40
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2003

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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