Study finds simple question changes how some men will vote

Thinking About Gender Roles Could Change How Men Vote This Year

A new study suggests that a significant percentage of men can be swayed to vote for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton simply by being asked about spousal income.

A recent Fairleigh Dickinson University study tested this by presenting presidential preference poll. The researchers introduced asked New Jersey respondents about how much they earned in comparison to their spouse -- but they weren't interested in the answer.

As researcher Dan Cassino explained: "The reason we asked the question was to push men to think about potential threats to their gender roles. Being the breadwinner has been a linchpin of U.S. men's masculinity for decades, so even the potential of making less than one's spouse threatens accepted gender roles."

The survey participants were split into two groups. Some were asked the question about income early and others later. They were also asked to name which presidential candidate they preferred in a general election matchup: Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.

The men who were asked the question about income at the end of the survey chose Clinton over Trump by 49 to 33 percent. The men who had been primed with the question to think about gender issues first chose Trump over Clinton 50 to 42. Overall, that's a 24 point swing.

The same methodology was used in a Bernie Sanders and Trump matchup too, but had far different results. Men given the gender question first chose Sanders by four-point margin. Those without the gender prime preferred Sanders by a three-point margin.

One of the researchers claims this is proof of just how fragile masculinity is — that if men even think "about potential threats" to gender roles, they will vote for a man simply based on that idea.

"Even the potential of making less than one's spouse threatens accepted gender roles. ... In this case, men were responding to a threat to their masculinity by saying they would prefer a man, rather than a woman, in a presidential race."

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