Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
United States
West Virginia University
gender, women candidates, public opinion, voter behavior, negative campaigning, political rhetoric, political metaphor, dehumanization, political psychology
Media Contact

Personal Info

About Me

Dr. Erin C. Cassese is an Associate Professor in the Political Science Department at West Virginia University. Her research and teaching interests lie broadly in American politics and political behavior, with an emphasis on gender, public opinion, and representation.

Collectively, Dr. Cassese’s scholarship is motivated by the question: What do the social and political processes surrounding categorical inequality reveal about the nation’s egalitarian commitments, the challenges of living in a diverse nation, and the obstacles involved in crafting effective social policy? Her research explores the role social groups play in shaping political thinking and behavior among U.S. citizens.

Her work has appeared in the Journal of Politics, Sex Roles, Politics & Gender, Politics & Religion, PS: Political Science & Politics, and other scholarly journals, as well as in edited volumes including Women and Legislative Representation, The Oxford Handbook of American Public Opinion and the Media, and Political Women and American Democracy. Her paper “Race, Ethnicity, and U.S. House Incumbent Evaluations” was awarded the Jewell-Loewenberg Prize for the best paper published in Legislative Studies Quarterly. She received the Carrie Chapman Catt Prize, funding data collection for the paper Party and Gender Stereotypes in Campaign Attacks,” forthcoming at Political Behavior. Her paper “American Party Women: A Look at the Gender Gap within Parties” received the Marion Irish Award for the best paper on Women and Politics presented at the Southern Political Science Association’s Annual Meeting and was published in Political Research Quarterly.

Recent Publications

Party and Gender Stereotypes in Campaign Attacks” (with Mirya Holman). Political Behavior (2017): 1-23.

Investigates the effects of trait and issue based campaign attacks on candidate evaluations and voter decision making. Finds female candidates are particularly vulnerable to attacks on stereotypically feminine traits and issues.

American Party Women: A Look at the Gender Gap within Parties ” (with Tiffany D. Barnes). Political Research Quarterly 70, no. 1 (2016): 127-141.

Explores gender differences in policy attitudes both across parties and within parties. Finds Republican women are more moderate than Republican men in several policy areas, but that gender differences across party are more meaningful than gender differences within parties.

A Re-Examination of Women’s Electoral Success in Open Seat Elections: The Conditioning Effect of Electoral Competition ” (with Tiffany D. Barnes and Regina P. Branton ). Journal of Women, Politics, and Policy 38, no. 3 (2016): 298-317.

Investigates female candidates’ electoral success in Congressional races that are “open seats”- meaning that no incumbent is running in the contest. Finds that female candidates face greater harm in fields with multiple high-quality challengers when compared to similarly-situated male candidates.

Religious Beliefs, Gender Consciousness, and Women’s Political Participation” (with Mirya Holman). Sex Roles 75, no. 9 (2016): 514-527.

Examines the effects of religiosity on the political behavior of men and women. Finds evidence that conservative religious beliefs uniquely affect women’s political identities in ways that depress political behavior.

Racializing Gender: Public Opinion at the Intersection” (with Tiffany D. Barnes and Regina P. Branton ). Politics and Gender 11, no. 1 (2015): 1-26.

Explores how beliefs about race and gender shape support for pay equity policy. Finds that support varies depending on the characteristics of women who stand to benefit from programs that would ensure equal pay for men and women.

Media Coverage

Campaign Attacks May Hurt Women Candidates More than Men – Especially on ‘Women’s’ Issues,” Monkey CageThe Washington PostAugust 31, 2017.

George Romero’s Zombies Will Make Americans Reflect on Racial Violence Long after His Death ,” The ConversationJuly 26, 2017.

Here are 3 Insights into Why Some People Call Trump A ‘Monster’,” Monkey Cage The Washington Post October 31, 2016.

Why Donald Trump Never Really Had a ‘Woman’ Problem among Republican Voters ,” London School of Economics U.S. Politics & Policy Blog October 31, 2016.

Can Ivanka Trump Lure Female Voters to Her Father? Probably Not,” Monkey Cage The Washington Post July 25, 2016.

The Wage Gap is about Women’s Opportunities, Not Just Their Choices,” Monkey CageThe Washington PostApril 14, 2015.

Country Focus
United States

Research Areas

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