Traits versus Issues: How Female Candidates Shape Coverage of Senate and Gubernatorial Races Academic Article uri icon


  • As female candidates may face greater challenges in establishing their qualifications for office, coverage of their personal traits may be pernicious, because it tends to de-emphasize substantive qualifications. This study focuses on relative amounts of trait and issue coverage of contests with and without women candidates. We find that races with female candidates yield more coverage of traits than male versus male contests and races with female candidates are less likely to generate issue coverage than trait coverage. Candidate gender and office interact; female gubernatorial candidates are most likely to garner trait coverage and least likely to engender issue coverage.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 57.85

author list (cited authors)

  • Dunaway, J., Lawrence, R. G., Rose, M., & Weber, C. R.

citation count

  • 51

complete list of authors

  • Dunaway, Johanna||Lawrence, Regina G||Rose, Melody||Weber, Christopher R

publication date

  • September 2013