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Candidate Identity and Strategic Communication: The Influence of Race and Gender on Campaign Messages

Date and Time: 
Thursday, April 12, 2018. 12:00 PM - 01:30 PM
Meeting Location: 
Humanities Center Boardroom
Workshop: 
CORE: Critical Orientations to Race and Ethnicity
Meeting Description: 

Please join us for a workshop with Jennifer Cryer, PhD candidate in the Stanford Department of Political Science. 
  
Abstract:
Research has found that voters prefer the leadership traits of men, view minority candidates as lacking competence and intelligence and use race- and sex-based stereotypes to infer ideological positions. Yet, previous analysis of electoral outcomes has found that voter beliefs about women and minorities does not affect electoral outcomes. I resolve this paradox by creating a new theory of identity-driven messaging. Candidates are aware of the stereotypes they face, and differentially deliver informatio about their qualifications and positions—information which can attenuate voter beliefs. Using a structural topic model to analyze 2,434 campaign website texts, I find that female and racial minority candidates differ from their male and white counterparts in policy discussions, use of thematic frames, and expositions of competency. Additionally, they respond to deficits in voter perceptions by discussing their background, endorsements, and work ethic. Moreover, candidates 
employing these messages increase their log-odds of general election victory.
  
A light lunch will be served. RSVP requested: https://goo.gl/forms/wxFq9OgJ7jetrkBw2

Jennifer Cryer is a PhD candidate at Stanford University in the Department of Political Science. She is also a 2015 National Science Foundation, Graduate Research Fellow, and a Stanford University E.D.G.E. Doctoral Fellow under the Vice Provost for Graduate Education. Her work has been presented at APSA, MPSA, New Faces in Political Methodology, PRIEC, among others.

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