The study, conducted by Harvard lecturer Sparsha Saha and University of Bath professor Ana Catalano Weeks, claims to be the first study that measures voter perception of the ambition of political candidates. The study finds that Republican and Democratic voters don’t punish female candidates who are “seen as tough or determined, pushing for broad policy changes, or juggling family and public life.”
“I think it really is very reassuring, and I hope that women themselves who are thinking about politics look at this and are hopeful,” Saha said of the results. Weeks noted that observational data suggests that “when women run for office, they win.”
The study is another nail in the coffin of the idea that Clinton was punished by voters for being an ambitious woman. She was simply a bad candidate, one who ran an awful campaign and lost to an equally unpopular candidate who ran a better one.