Women change their minds more often when deciding what candidate to support. At least, that’s a common assumption in politics, and is one reason why women are often considered an important target for political ads.
Yet new research by Evolving Strategies suggests that women are less likely than men to be influenced by some of the political ads about this presidential election.
This innovative experiment tested the impact of two political ads, one that was pro Romney/Ryan, and one that attacked the GOP ticket, on 1000 “swing” voters (so those who were not strong Republicans or Democrats). And the findings are exactly the opposite of what one would expect. As Evolving Strategies concludes:
Our findings turn the “war on women” logic on its head; male swing voters look like the ones who could decide this election. Men seem highly susceptible to advertising, and women much more stable in their opinions and vote-choice. The campaigns would do well to concentrate on courting men, not women.
I wonder what other conventional wisdom about gender and politics is dead wrong? Perhaps it’s this idea that women can be distracted from our crumbling economy by any mention of reproduction?
Campaigns should take note that the typical campaign ads aren’t working on women. Perhaps, just perhaps, women actually want to hear about the big issues that will face our country in the next four years?