Candidate Evaluations

Microsoft Word – Liu_CV_20200309.docx

How Do Gender and Disability Intersect in Candidate Evaluations? (with Stefanie Reher)

Women are overwhelmingly underrepresented in most political institutions across the world. Current studies focus on the role of gender stereotypes in how voters evaluate female candidates as a way to explain the underrepresentation of women. Unknown, however, is how candidate gender intersects with disability in shaping how individuals perceive political candidates. Through a survey experiment with a conjoint design in the UK we investigate how candidate gender and disability influence voters’ perceptions of candidates as competent and compassionate as well as candidates’ policy-specific competences and their ideological positions. The findings suggest that, while gender by itself has limited effects, candidate disability influences how voters perceive their personality traits, policy competences, and ideological beliefs. Importantly, some disability stereotypes seem to be applied more to male than female candidates, suggesting that intersectional approaches to studying voter perceptions and candidate competition are vital.

Hereditary Politics: The Role of Gender and Kinship in Voters’ Evaluations of Political Candidates (with Kenneth McElwain)

Extant scholarship shows that voters use gender stereotypes to evaluate political candidates. Unknown, however, is how political candidate’s gender intersects with family connection in shaping voters’ perceptions of candidates. Using survey experiments with a conjoint design Japan and Taiwan, we investigate the impact of candidate gender and kinship on voters’ evaluations of candidates as competent, compassionate, and progressive leaders. We also analyze how voters’ own identities and experiences shape their perceptions of candidates. Taking a comparative approach, we argue that gender and kinship affect voters’ evaluations of candidates and that this effect could be context-specific. Not only does this study fill a gap in existing literature on the effect of stereotypes on attributions of candidate competencies, but it also offers implications for policymakers, political parties, civil society organizations, the public, and – importantly – female politicians with family connections themselves to combat biased evaluations of candidates.