A Pew Social Trends poll — taken this summer before John McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate — found that Republicans are significantly less likely to vote for a candidate who is a mother of young children than one who is a father of young children, other factors being equal. Barely one-in-five (21%) Republicans said they were very likely to support a hypothetical candidate for U.S. Congress who was the mother of school-aged children, while 31% said they would support a father who had the identical personal and career profile. Among Democrats, gender and parenthood had the opposite effect: Democrats were significantly more likely to vote for a candidate for Congress who is the mother of small children than to support an identical candidate who is the father of small children (33% vs. 24%). Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.