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 ClintonFederal workers stuck it out with Trump — now, we're ready to get back to work Biden soars as leader of the free world Intercept DC bureau chief says Biden picks are 'same people' from Obama years 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 WarrenKamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year Mnuchin to put 5B in COVID-19 relief funds beyond successor's reach No, the government cannot seize, break or 'bypass' pharmaceutical patents — even for COVID-19 MORE (D-Mass.), Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisHarris says she has 'not yet' spoken to Pence Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year Mexican president breaks with other world leaders, refusing to acknowledge Biden win until election is finalized MORE (D-Calif.) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandDemocratic senators urge Facebook to take action on anti-Muslim bigotry Social media responds to Harris making history: 'I feel like our ancestors are rejoicing' Ocasio-Cortez says she doesn't plan on 'staying in the House forever' MORE (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardSix people whose election wins made history Next Congress expected to have record diversity Native Americans elected to Congress in record numbers this year 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