Female candidates scrutinized more than men on likability, says pollster

Pollster Mallory Newall told Hill.TV on Wednesday that female candidates have to deal with the issue of likability on the campaign trail more so than male candidates.

"There is a certain likability threshold for women candidates that is expected of them," Newall, research director of Ipsos Public Affairs, told "What America's Thinking" host Jamal Simmons.

"Men don't necessarily have to meet that same, 'Well, do people like you?' threshold," she added.

Former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Hill's Morning Report - Crunch time arrives for 2020 Dems with debates on deck The Memo: All eyes on faltering Biden ahead of first debate Trump says he's not prepared to lose in 2020 MORE was often scrutinized during her 2008 and 2016 presidential bids for her demeanor, personality and appearance, at times more than her male opponents.

However, the field of women running in 2020 is much larger than previous election years, with candidates like Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann Warren2020 Democrat: 'My DM's are open and I actually read & respond' Group of wealthy Americans write open letter asking to be taxed more Inslee unveils plan to fight fossil fuel pollution MORE (D-Mass.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisThe Hill's Morning Report - Crunch time arrives for 2020 Dems with debates on deck The Memo: All eyes on faltering Biden ahead of first debate 2020 primary debate guide: Everything you need to know ahead of the first Democratic showdown MORE (D-Calif.) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandJuan Williams: Warren on the rise 2020 primary debate guide: Everything you need to know ahead of the first Democratic showdown 2020 Democrats vow to expand abortion access at Planned Parenthood event MORE (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi Gabbard2020 primary debate guide: Everything you need to know ahead of the first Democratic showdown Will we ever have another veteran as president? Bernie Sanders open to decriminalizing sex work MORE (D-Hawaii).

Jess McIntosh, a Clinton communications aide in 2016, told The Guardian last month that the field of women in the 2020 cycle has drawn attention to the likability question again, but in a different way compared to earlier presidential campaigns.

“I think in 2016, the idea that ‘likable’ was gendered wouldn’t have even come up. In 2019, people clearly recognized it and called it out,” McIntosh said. “The thing that makes me the most hopeful about intractably sexist media coverage is that with multiple women candidates in the race it becomes really obvious what women have to deal with.”

— Julia Manchester