Numerous obstacles, including limited support and resources, discrimination, and prejudice, continue to create challenges for LGBTQ candidates in the political arena. This project addresses these questions: when Lesbian and Gay candidates run for office, what are voters’ perceptions about them? Specifically, are voters inclined to ascribe specific issue competencies to Lesbian and Gay candidates?
Gender Politics research has revealed that candidates are perceived as better suited for certain issues and are attributed specific traits based on their gender. Studies demonstrate that women are typically regarded as more competent in handling topics like education, healthcare, and civil rights; while men are commonly associated with greater competence in military and agriculture issues. However, Gender Issue Ownership cannot be applied to non-straight candidates, to better understand how voters perceive Lesbian and Gay candidates, we have to take into account the intersection of gender and sexual orientation.
I plan to conduct two conjoint survey experiments to answer these questions. The first experiment aims to explore the dynamic interaction between a candidate’s gender and sexual orientation concerning voter perception, while the second experiment examines whether additional information about personal traits can alter these perceptions.