Objective. This article examines how issue saliency affects the public's perceptions of whether a man or a woman would make a better president when considering the most important problem facing the nation.
Method. The study uses telephone survey data of adults in the United States collected by the Annenberg Public Policy Center in September 2003. Multinominial logistic regression models were conducted to parse out the effects of issue saliency on presidential gender preference while taking demographic characteristics and party identification into account.
Results. People who said that terrorism, homeland security, and/or U.S. involvement in Iraq was the most important problem facing the nation were more likely to say that a man would do a better job handling the issue as president.
Conclusion. This study finds that issue saliency affects presidential gender preference above and beyond demographic and party identification variables.