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 ClintonYang expands campaign with senior hires for digital operations Top GOP legislator in California leaves party GOP senators request interview with former DNC contractor to probe possible Ukraine ties 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 WarrenArtist behind gold toilet offered to Trump sells banana duct-taped to a wall for 0,000 Democratic strategist: 'Medicare for All' exposes generational gap within party Yang expands campaign with senior hires for digital operations MORE (D-Mass.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisYang expands campaign with senior hires for digital operations Biden: All-white debate not representative of party, but 'you can't dictate' nominee Delaney to DNC: Open second debate stage for candidates who qualified for past events MORE (D-Calif.) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandWhite House, Congress near deal to give 12 weeks paid parental leave to all federal workers Bloomberg on 2020 rivals blasting him for using his own money: 'They had a chance to go out and make a lot of money' Harris posts video asking baby if she'll run for president one day MORE (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardBiden: All-white debate not representative of party, but 'you can't dictate' nominee Delaney to DNC: Open second debate stage for candidates who qualified for past events The Hill's Campaign Report: Democrats worry about diversity on next debate stage 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