Dem pollster says female candidates viewed more negatively on campaign trail

Voters tend to view women more negatively when they are running for office, Democratic pollster Nancy Zdunkewicz said in an interview that aired Thursday on Hill.TV.

"Once they start to run, their negatives jump up," Zdunkewicz told host Jamal Simmons on Wednesday. "Once they're in office, [they have] high approval ratings, and people think that they're doing a great job. But when they're seeking a higher office, people are a little bit more tepid in the feelings that they have towards them."

A historic number of women ran for office in 2018, making significant gains in Congress and in statehouses across the country on Election Day.

Women are also poised to play a major role in the 2020 presidential campaign, with candidates like Democratic Sens. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandGillibrand seizes on abortion debate to jump-start campaign Senate Democrats to House: Tamp down the impeachment talk Senate confirms Army, Navy chiefs MORE (N.Y.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisSan Francisco police chief apologizes for raid on journalist's home Gillibrand seizes on abortion debate to jump-start campaign Senate Democrats to House: Tamp down the impeachment talk MORE (Calif.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenGillibrand seizes on abortion debate to jump-start campaign CEO pay rising twice as fast as worker pay: AP Senate Democrats to House: Tamp down the impeachment talk MORE (Mass.) and Amy KlobucharAmy Jean Klobuchar2020 hopeful John Delaney unveils T climate plan Samantha Bee slams 2020 Democrats who go on Fox News Poll: Harris, Warren climb as Biden maintains lead MORE (Minn.) all seeking the chance to challenge President TrumpDonald John TrumpA better VA, with mental health services, is essential for America's veterans Pelosi, Nadler tangle on impeachment, contempt vote Trump arrives in Japan to kick off 4-day state visit MORE in the general election.

However, media coverage of male and female candidates has been uneven, according to a recent study.

An analysis of 130 articles from mainstream news organizations by Northeastern University's School of Journalism found that female candidates were being treated more negatively than their male counterparts.

— Julia Manchester