Well, At Least Weiner’s Got That Going for Him….

More timely political science research on the consequences of political sex scandals: Adam Berinsky, Vincent Hutchings, Tali Mendelberg, Lee Shaker, and Nicholas Valentino have an article ( gated ; ungated) in the current issue of Political Behavior that explores the relationship between a politician’s race and citizens’ reactions to sex scandals. Here’s the abstract:

A growing body of work suggests that exposure to subtle racial cues prompts white voters to penalize black candidates, and that the effects of these cues may influence outcomes indirectly via perceptions of candidate ideology. We test hypotheses related to these ideas using two experiments based on national samples. In one experiment, we manipulated the race of a candidate (Barack Obama vs. John
Edwards) accused of sexual impropriety. We found that while both candidates suffered from the accusation, the scandal led respondents to view Obama as more liberal than Edwards, especially among resentful and engaged whites. Second, overall evaluations of Obama declined more sharply than for Edwards. In the other experiment, we manipulated the explicitness of the scandal, and found that implicit cues were more damaging for Obama than explicit ones.

Looks very interesting, although John Edwards in a sex scandal seems like a bit of a stretch to me…

3 Responses to Well, At Least Weiner’s Got That Going for Him….

  1. Mark Rogers June 16, 2011 at 6:31 am #

    A picture paints a thousand words but they are not all racialy biased. In this paper the authors show white people a picture of Obama with two white women and another group of white people a picture of just Edwards with no women. The difference in response is supposed to show the racial bias. Why did the authors not show a picture of Edwards with two women to the group and then you would have figured in the general distaste for promiscuity, the racial bias then would be some function of the difference in the response of the two groups. This is just one problem I have with the way the experiment was structured.

    I give the unofficial monkey cage intrade chances of this paper appearing in a tier one scholarly journal ……..12%.

  2. John Sides June 16, 2011 at 9:39 am #

    Mark: The authors did show people a picture of Edwards with two women. See p.199 of the article — which, by the way, has already appeared in a reputable scholarly journal.

  3. Mark Rogers June 17, 2011 at 6:12 am #

    OUCH! I apologize to everyone and in particular to the authors. I did not read the entire paper.