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: Rosy economic outlook not 'reflected in everyday, kitchen-table issues families are facing' Chris Wallace becomes Trump era's 'equal opportunity inquisitor' Steve King to Gillibrand: Odds of me resigning same as yours of winning presidential nomination MORE (N.Y.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisJoe Biden faces an uncertain path Biden: 'There's an awful lot of really good Republicans out there' Fighter pilot vs. astronaut match-up in Arizona could determine control of Senate MORE (Calif.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenPossible GOP challenger says Trump doesn't doesn't deserve reelection, but would vote for him over Democrat Joe Biden faces an uncertain path The Memo: Trump pushes back amid signs of economic slowdown MORE (Mass.) and Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharPoll: Nearly 4 in 5 say they will consider candidates' stances on cybersecurity The Hill's Campaign Report: Battle for Senate begins to take shape Native American advocates question 2020 Democrats' commitment MORE (Minn.) all seeking the chance to challenge President TrumpDonald John TrumpO'Rourke: Trump driving global, U.S. economy into recession Manchin: Trump has 'golden opportunity' on gun reforms Objections to Trump's new immigration rule wildly exaggerated 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