Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Political Science

First Advisor

Zoe Oxley


Elections, Gubernatorial, Senatorial, Gender, Media, Equality


For my thesis topic, I am researching the impacts of media representation of candidates on gender and campaigning. I break down my research based on the type of campaigns, including U.S. senatorial and gubernatorial campaigns. Looking into campaigns for each type of office, I observe how candidates represented themselves in the 2018 elections through their own campaign advertisements. I juxtapose this research with my research on how the media then portrays candidates, and look to see if gender impacts media coverage in 2018. Main questions that my research provides insight to: How has the role of gender in campaigns changed or stayed the same over time? Are candidates using gendered strategies to produce a lens through which candidates are viewed by voters? How do campaign strategies differ for female candidates of each party? Do campaign strategies and messages change based on offices? Are we seeing gender play different roles in campaigning for U.S. Senate vs governorships? How have newspapers represented candidates of each gender? Is the media coverage consistent with messages that the candidates themselves are putting out, or is the media portraying a different image? If there are differences in messages from the media about candidates as opposed to from the candidates directly, are there differences between the genders of the candidates in this skewed representation? My thesis is important because it is bringing new insight into gender and elections, specifically looking at the most recent midterm elections for the U.S. senatorial and gubernatorial races.