One question has dogged the female Democratic candidates running for president far more than their male opponents: Is she likable enough?
Research has found that women, more so than men, need to be liked to be elected, as Vox’s Ella Nilsen has reported. And some polls have found women like Sens. Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren lagging behind their male counterparts when it comes to likability.
But a new national poll of 1,912 likely Democratic voters shows both Warren and Harris matching or outscoring men on measures of likability, including whether voters are excited about candidates or would like to hang out with them as friends. The poll, conducted in July by communications and strategy firm PerryUndem and provided to Vox exclusively ahead of publication, also found Warren and Harris beating some of their male competitors in terms of favorability. More than 40 percent of those polled had a strongly favorable view of Warren and 32.5 percent said the same of Harris, compared with 27.7 percent for Sen. Bernie Sanders and 24.2 percent for former Vice President Joe Biden.
When pollsters asked respondents who they’d vote for if the primary were held today, Biden still came out with a slight lead (within the margin of error) — 24.6 percent of voters said they’d choose him, compared with 22.6 percent of voters who picked Warren, the next most popular choice. The reason for this disconnect may come down to who voters believe can beat President Trump — those polled gave Biden a better shot than Warren at beating the incumbent.[…]