Cracked and shattered ceilings: Gender, race, religion, age, and the ideal candidate

Judith S. Trent, Cady Short-Thompson, Paul Mongeau, Maribeth S. Metzler, Amber K. Erickson, Jimmie D. Trent

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Image as a transaction between what candidates say and do and the way voters compare that behavior with their personal vision of what candidates should be or do stimulates at least four critical questions important to political communication. First, what qualities or attributes do voters believe are important for a presidential candidate to possess-what are the dimensions of the "ideal" presidential candidate? Second, do these views change with time and with candidates, or are they fairly consistent across elections? Third, were the unique candidate demographics (religion, race, gender, and age) apparent in the 2008 New Hampshire primary important to voters? Finally, do the evaluative dimensions of "idealness" differ in relationship to the gender, age, or party affiliation of those who attend political rallies? Answers are determined from results of a survey of citizens attending political rallies in New Hampshire during the 1988 through 2008 presidential primaries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-183
Number of pages21
JournalAmerican Behavioral Scientist
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 2010


  • "isms"
  • New Hampshire
  • early campaign
  • ideal candidate
  • primary

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences(all)


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