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The online version of this article (https://doi.org/10.1007/s11109-018-9475-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Replication files are available on the Political Behavior Dataverse website, study, https://doi.org/10.7910/DVN/MS0NFV.
Candidates frequently engage in partisan trespassing strategies where a candidate will highlight issues and traits associated with stereotypes of the opposing political party. Successful trespassing messages should lead voters to associate candidates with qualities that fit into stereotypes about both Democrats and Republicans, increase electoral support for a candidate, and expand a candidate’s base of support. Few studies, however, investigate whether there are differences in the effects of trespassing strategies across candidate sex. Through three survey experiments, I show that trespassing strategies have both positive and negative effects for female candidates. Voters associate female candidates who trespass with more issues and traits associated with the opposing political party, but voters also associate female candidates with fewer partisan qualities. This trade-off is one that both female and male candidates experience. Male candidates, unlike female candidates, can successfully attract more electoral support from out-partisan voters with trespassing strategies. These findings have broad implications for the viability of female candidates in national and state elections where candidates must secure support across a broad coalition of partisan and out-partisan voters.
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