Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
United States
Hartwick College
Politics of parenthood and motherhood The gender gap Presidential candidate spouses Underrepresentation of women in elective office
Media Contact

Personal Info

About Me

Laurel Elder is a Professor of Political Science at Hartwick College. She teaches a wide array of courses in American politics focusing in particular on public opinion, voting, and elections with specific attention to issues of gender, race, and ethnicity.  She is the  co-author, along with Steven Greene at North Carolina State University of The Politics of Parenthood: Causes and Consequences of the Politicization and Polarization of the American Family (SUNY Press, 2012), which explores how and why parenthood and the family have become politicized in contemporary U.S. politics. She is also the author or co-author  of numerous scholarly articles focused on the political consequences of raising children as well as the continued under-representation of women in elective office published in outlets such as American Politics Review, Politics & Gender, and Social Science Quarterly. She is currently working on a manuscript titled American Presidential Candidate Spouses: From Hillary to Melania, with Brian Frederick and Barbara Burrell, which explores public attitudes towards these important yet understudied political actors.

Recent Publications

Laurel Elder and Steven Greene. 2012. The Politics of Parenthood: Causes and Consequences of the Politicization and Polarization of the American Family. Albany, NY: SUNY Press.

Laurel Elder and Brian Frederick. 2017. “Perceptions of Candidate Spouses in the 2012 Presidential Election: The Role of Gender, Race, Religion, and Partisanship.” Politics, Groups, and Identities. doi/full/10.1080/21565503.2017.1338969

Susan Banducci, Laurel Elder, Steven Greene, and Daniel Stevens. 2016 “Parenthood and the Polarization of Political Attitudes in Europe.” European Journal of Political Research. 55(4): 745-766.

Laurel Elder and Steven Greene. 2016. “The Politics of Walmart Moms: Parenthood and Political Attitudes in the 2012 Election,” Journal of Women, Politics & Policy. 37(4): 369-393. doi: 10.1080/1554477X.2016.1198651

Laurel Elder and Steven Greene. 2016. “Red Parents, Blue Parents: The Politics of Modern Parenthood.” The Forum: A Journal of Applied Research in Contemporary Politics. 14 (2): 143–167. doi: 10.1515/for-2016-0013.

Laurel Elder, 2014. “Whither Republican Women in New England?” The New England Journal of Political Science, 7(2): 161-193.

Laurel Elder. 2014. “Contrasting Party Dynamics: A Three Decade Analysis of the Representation of Democratic versus Republican Women State Legislators,” The Social Science Journal, 51(3): 377-385.

Laurel Elder and Steven Greene. 2012. “The Politics of Parenthood: Parenthood Effects on Issue Attitudes and Candidate Evaluations in 2008.” American Politics Research, 40(3): 418-448.

Laurel Elder. 2012. “The Partisan Gap among Women State Legislators.” Journal of Women, Politics & Policy, 33(1): 65-85.

Barbara Burrell, Laurel Elder, and Brian Frederick. 2011. “From Hillary to Michelle: Public Opinion and the Spouses of Presidential Candidates.” Presidential Studies Quarterly. 41(1): 156-176.

Media Coverage

Laurel Elder and Steven Green. 2016. “Is Fatherhood Political?” The Washington Post. June 16, 2016.

Laurel Elder and Brian Frederick. 2016. “Presidential Candidate Spouses May Have Record Unfavorable Ratings in 2016.” Huffington Post. May 20, 2016.

Laurel Elder and Steven Greene. 2012. “Politicians Love to Talk about Family. But Maybe Not Yours.” The Washington Post. B1. September 9, 2012.


Why We Don’t Know How Much Sexism is Husting Clinton’s Campaign. By Maggie Koerth-Baker. Fivethirtyeight. November 5, 2016.

“Boomer Grannies: Soccer Moms 2.0” by Tanya Basu in The Atlantic. February 19, 2015.

“The Marriage Cure.” By Rachel Cohen in American Prospect. May 7, 2015.

“Democrats Risk No Female Governor, First time in 17 Years.” by Esme Deprez in BloombergBusinessWeek. September 12, 2012.

“What Will a Female Moderator Bring to the Debates?” Politico. August 17, 2012.

Country Focus
United States

Research Areas

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