Appealing to the 52%: Exploring Clinton and Trump’s Appeals to Women Voters During the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election

Lindsey Meeks


In elections, women are often discussed as a coveted voting bloc. The focus on women swelled during the 2016 U.S. presidential election, with many wondering whether a wave of women voters would usher in a woman president. Such questioning overlooks the role of partisanship and how gender and partisan identities collide for women voters in gender-salient elections. This study examines this intersection by content analyzing how Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump appealed to partisan women via their convention speeches and campaign tweets. Results revealed that Clinton and Trump emphasized appeals that would curry favor with their respective partisan bases, and Clinton outpaced Trump in her volume and variety of gender appeals.


women voters, 2016 presidential election, gender appeals, partisan politics, priming

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