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Mary-Kate Lizotte, PhD - Augusta University. Augusta, GA, US

Mary-Kate Lizotte, PhD Mary-Kate Lizotte, PhD

Professor of Political Science | Augusta University

Augusta, GA, UNITED STATES

Lizotte is an expert in public opinion and is an expert in gender in politics and voting.

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Dr. Mary-Kate Lizotte on Candidate Perception in the 2020 US Election

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Biography

Dr. Lizotte earned her Ph.D. in Political Science from Stony Brook University. Her research interests include political behavior and gender and public opinion. Much of her work is concerned with the origins and implications of gender differences in public opinion, often referred to as "gender gaps." In additional to her work on public opinion, she also has published research on the gender gap in voting, political knowledge, and party identification. Her work has been published in edited volumes as well as Politics & Gender; Journal of Women, Politics & Policy; The Social Science Journal; and Journal of Conflict Resolution. She teaches undergraduate courses on American government, Congress and the Presidency, research methods, and Public Policy Analysis.

Dr. Lizotte has been featured in The New York Times, Rutgers and other top outlets.

Areas of Expertise (4)

Gender Differences in Effect of Attractiveness on Political Candidacy‎

Gender Differences in Political Interests

Gender Differences in Public Opinion

Race and Politics

Media Appearances (19)

The Gender Gap Is Taking Us to Unexpected Places

The New York Times  online

2022-01-12

In “Feminist and Anti-Feminist Identification in the 21st Century United States,” Laurel Elder, Steven Greene and Mary-Kate Lizotte, political scientists at Hartwick College, North Carolina State University and Augusta University, analyzed the responses of those who identified themselves as feminists or anti-feminists in 1992 and 2016. Based on surveys conducted by American National Election Studies, Elder, Greene and Lizotte found that the total number of voters saying that they were feminists grew from 28 to 34 percent over that 24-year period. The growth was larger among women, 29 to 50 percent, than among men, 18 to 25 percent.

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How Gender Shapes Public Opinion in American Politics

Rutgers  online

2021-05-20

I spoke with two experts – Dr. Mary-Kate Lizotte (Augusta University) and CAWP Visiting Practitioner Kimberly Peeler-Allen about the dynamics of these gender differences and how they shape the contours of American politics. This interview sheds light on what gendered patterns in public opinion look like in the United States, what underlying factors drive these patterns, and how gender interacts with other identities to effect political attitudes. For more information and data on gender differences in public opinion, see our Gender Differences in Public Opinion Fact Sheet.

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Community reacts to the Derrick Chauvin verdict

WFXG  

2021-05-11

Dr. Mary-Kate Lizotte, an associate professor of political science at Augusta University says since a year ago, there’s been a major jump among all Americans in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. “There’s a lot of desire from the public to see things change. These sorts of incidents shouldn’t be happening particularly at the rate that they’re happening,” she said, whether that’s changing the way things are funded or the way policing takes place. “I think that we’re going to see your local and state legislators going ahead and responding to that public outcry.”

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Augusta University’s new online course tackling race & politics

WJBF  tv

2021-04-17

A new class at Augusta University is bringing attention to the topic of race and politics. Talking about race and politics can be hard for some people. but students at Augusta University can now take a class to help them explore these difficult topics. Professor Mary-Kate Lizotte says “it’s really important that as a society…and I see it in students all the time, they’re uncomfortable when talking about race and as a society we are often uncomfortable talking about race and these sorts of issues and acknowledging that.”

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Men and women have similar views on abortion

Vox  online

2019-05-20

Even before this Trump-era widening of disagreement about the desirability of a larger and more activist government, this was a bigger gender gap than was registered for abortion-related questions. Similarly, according to Augusta University’s Mary-Kate Lizotte, an expert in the gender gap in political behavior, “attitudes about military force exhibit a gender gap of 8 to 12 percentage points on average, with women less supportive of military interventions such as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

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The role appearance plays in politics

News Channel 6  online

2018-07-17

Our friends at Augusta University have played a key role in helping us understand complicated issues, helping us go beyond the headlines, and with the midterm elections right now really in full swing, we wanted to touch on something that we don't usually tackle in the political arena, and that is the way that a candidate looks, their physical appearance, and the role that it may or may not play when it comes to your decision at the ballot box...

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The Gender Gap Is Taking Us to Unexpected Places

New York Times  print

2022-01-12

In “Feminist and Anti-Feminist Identification in the 21st Century United States,” Laurel Elder, Steven Greene and Mary-Kate Lizotte, political scientists at Hartwick College, North Carolina State University and Augusta University, analyzed the responses of those who identified themselves as feminists or anti-feminists in 1992 and 2016. Based on surveys conducted by American National Election Studies, Elder, Greene and Lizotte found that the total number of voters saying that they were feminists grew from 28 to 34 percent over that 24-year period. The growth was larger among women, 29 to 50 percent, than among men, 18 to 25 percent.

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How education can benefit from critical race theory

Boom Bap Hour podcast  online

2022-01-23

The Boom Bap Hour talks with Dr. Mary Kate Lizotte, Associate Professor of Political Science at Augusta University. Two years after the death of George Floyd when the nation was enthusiastic to talk about race, school boards are now backpedaling the conversation, banning classes and books about racism. A professor teaching about systematic racism at the college level, Dr. Lizotte explains why teaching critical race theory is beneficial to our educational system at all levels.

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Federal election lawsuit heads to trial in Atlanta

WFXG  tv

2022-04-13

A federal elections lawsuit has headed to trial in Georgia. Fair Fight Action, an organization backed by Democratic candidate for Georgia governor Stacey Abrams, is suing the state alleging that the secretary of state and the Georgia State Election Board have violated federal voting rights laws. The trial began Monday, three years after the lawsuit was initially filed in 2018 when Abrams narrowly lost the gubernatorial race to now-Governor Brian Kemp. The initial lawsuit included a number of concerns, some of which have been dismissed by the court. Now, the main focus is Georgia's "exact match" policy.

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Local political professionals encourage young people to vote

WJBF  tv

2022-04-21

“They need to know that their voice matters and every vote counts ” said Joseph Wallace, Program Director for Georgia shift. When you turn 18 years old the thought of voting may not be your top priority, but being an active voter could affect you in many ways. Getting your registration card doesn’t have to be intimidating, there are with plenty of resources to help you register to vote just before the upcoming election in may. The Georgia shift is an initiative encouraging young people to vote in Augusta. Program director joseph Wallace says getting registered is actually an easy process.

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Roe v. Wade: What’s the potential impact on the two-state?

WRDW  tv

2022-05-03

The response is erupting not only in the nation’s capital but across the country after a leaked document suggested the Supreme Court may be planning to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. Overturning it would mean deciding on abortion on a state-by-state basis. Here’s what this could mean for the two-state region. It could be two months until the final decision comes down if the Supreme Court chooses to overturn Roe v. Wade.

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Following primary election, Ga. candidates look ahead to November

WRDW  tv

2022-05-25

Tuesday was the warm-up round for voters in the peach state. In November, all eyes will be on Georgia for the U.S. Senate race between current Senator Raphael Warnock and former UGA football star Herschel Walker. Then you have Brian Kemp and Stacey Abrams going head-to-head once again for governor. We talked to political experts who say voters are starting to understand what’s at stake.

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Roe v. Wade decision sets stage for Georgia’s Heartbeat Law

WRDW  tv

2022-06-24

The overturn of Roe v. Wade ultimately places the decision in the state’s hands when it comes to regulating abortion. What are the implications of this decision for Georgia and the river region? Here in Georgia, an Augusta University professor says we could see the implications before the day is out. The Supreme Court has spoken, and they’ve decided it’s up to states to decide. “If they want to ban it completely, if they want to have a six-week ban, if they want to have exceptions for rape, incest, the health of the mother, they get to completely decide what that looks like. The U.S. Constitution does not provide for this right,” said Dr. Mary-Kate Lizotte, AU political science professor.

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Behind the political headlines: preparing for the midterm election

WJBF  tv

2022-07-09

This week The Means Report turns its attention to the hot button political issues facing our nation. It is something that is done periodically so that not only you can stay up to speed on what’s going on behind the headlines, but so we can all learn things from our political experts in town who are kind enough to stop by and enlighten us as to all the goings on nationally and globally, in many cases. This time around, we cover the January 6th hearings as that committee continues to meet and investigate the events of that day, plus recent Supreme Court decisions and how they might factor into the upcoming elections – the midterms. The Trump Factor… how much of an influence will Former President Trump have on your choice at the ballot box, and the women’s vote – how key is that going to be in determining who our future office holders are? Dr. Mary-Kate Lizotte is a professor at Augusta University, a political scientist and joins The Means Report to offer her expertise.

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Election officials discuss potential voter turnout for November

WRDW  tv

2022-08-22

A federal judge is allowing Georgia’s ban on giving out food and water in voting lines to stay in place come November. Groups against Georgia’s recent voting law say it puts people of color at a disadvantage. Locally, with that same law in place, we did see record turnout on multiple days during early voting in May. While no one can predict the future on turnout numbers, officials say the return to in-person voting is on the rise, with absentee voting stagnating.

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Young Women’s Views On Abortion Could Reshape The Midterms — And The Future Of Politics

FiveThiryEight  online

2022-10-04

In most midterm years, young voters tend to sit out the election. But 2022 could be a different kind of year. Turnout among 18- to 24-year-olds nearly doubled between the 2014 and 2018 midterm cycles. And the Supreme Court’s June ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which allows states to ban abortion for the first time in nearly five decades, suddenly put a spotlight on reproductive-health issues in many key elections.

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Political science expert weighs in on the importance of debates

WRDW  tv

2022-10-07

People all over the country are watching two of our major elections this year. Brian Kemp and Stacey Abrams are meeting in a re-match for governor. Herschel Walker is challenging Raphael Warnock for his position as U.S. Senator. Walker and Warnock are touring around the state ahead of their upcoming debate in Savannah. We talked to an expert at Augusta University about the impact these debates can have on an election.

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Winners and losers: breaking down the midterm election

WJBF  tv

2022-11-13

Election day came and went with many results, but, for one race, the craziness continues. So The Means Report wanted to take a look at the winners and losers, as well as the runoff the state of Georgia will be facing in just a few weeks. Plus, what were the takeaways, and what should we interpret from the results. To do all of that we turn to Dr. Mary-Kate Lizotte, Augusta University Social Sciences professor.

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Early voting begins in some parts of Georgia ahead of crucial Senate runoff

Yahoo! News  online

2022-11-26

Georgia voters are heading to the polls Saturday as the state’s runoff Senate election between Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker nears in the coming weeks. Democrats will maintain control of the Senate through 2024 due to important wins in Nevada and Arizona, guaranteeing at least a 50-50 split. Democrats hold the majority in an even Senate thanks to Vice President Kamala Harris' ability to cast tie-breaking votes. But winning Georgia would give Democrats more breathing room and outright control of the chamber, meaning the stakes for both parties remain high.

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Answers (8)

Georgia's Herschel Walker is downplaying his speaking ability for the upcoming debate with Sen. Raphael Warnock, how does this come into play?

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Can debates sway voters?

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Are we likely to see record cash flow in the Georgia elections come this fall seeing the state will be a swing state?

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Articles (10)

Minding the Black Gender Gap: Gender Differences in Public Opinion among Black Americans

American Politics Research

Mary Kate Lizotte, Tony E. Carey, Jr.

2021 There is little research examining the gender gap in public opinion among Americans of African descent. Amid emerging evidence that Black men are more conservative than Black women, there is reason to believe there may be gender differences in their policy preferences. We use the 1980-2016 cumulative ANES data to observe when racial and gender considerations will be more salient for Black women in determining their policy preferences. We find no gender gap on race-based policies suggesting racial group interests may be driving similar support among Black men and women. [...]

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The gender gap in support for humanitarian interventions

Journal of Human Rights

Mary-Kate Lizotte

2020 Much of the existing literature on the gender gap in support for war has focused on average differences between men and women. Little research has focused on variations in men’s and women’s support due to differing aspects of the situational context, such as regime change, economic interests, threat of terrorism, or humanitarian crisis. Previous research has suggested that gender differences are reduced when the objective of a military intervention is to promote human rights and stop a humanitarian crisis (Brooks and Valentino 2011; Eichenberg 2016, 2017), but the underlying reason for this finding remains elusive. In this article, I seek precisely such an explanation—values. [...]

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You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling: How Gender Shapes Affective Polarization

American Politics Research

Heather Louise Ondercin, Mary Kate Lizotte

2020 We examine variation in levels of affective polarization for men and women. Using the 1980 to 2016 American National Election Studies, we find that women are more affectively polarized than men. The effect of sex partially works indirectly through political identities and issue positions. Moreover, sex acts as a moderator, with political identities and issues positions have different effects on men’s and women’s level of affective polarization. Three factors create women’s higher levels of affective polarization: women are more likely to be partisans, strength in abortion attitudes, and partisanship has a more substantial influence on women’s attitudes compared to men’s attitudes. [...]

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Negative Effects of Calling Attention to Female Political Candidates' Attractiveness

Journal of Political Marketing

Mary-Kate Lizotte, Heather J. Meggers-Wright

2018 Given the focus of the media on female candidate appearance in the 2008 presidential election, this research investigates the effects on voter evaluations of calling attention to female candidate attractiveness. The current research hypothesizes that pointing out candidate attractiveness likely has a negative effect on subsequent evaluations and reports of vote likelihood, particularly for female candidates. Role congruity theory, which argues that evidence of prejudice against female leaders is the result of a discrepancy between people’s stereotypes of women and their stereotypes of leaders, provides an explanation for these findings. This study establishes the negative influence of calling attention to a candidate’s attractiveness. [...]

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The gender gap on public opinion towards genetically modified foods

The Social Science Journal

Laurel Elder, Steven Greene, Mary Kate Lizotte

2018 Ever since genetically modified (GM) foods were introduced into the food supply in the 1990s they have provoked debate and concern. The number of GM foods approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and offered on supermarket shelves has steadily grown at the same time that public wariness about the safety of GM foods has increased. Studies within the scientific literature show a strikingly large gender gap in attitudes towards GM foods with women consistently more skeptical than men. However, there have been few efforts to understand the determinants of the gender gap on GM foods within the political science literature. [...]

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Political experience and the intersection between race and gender

l Politics, Groups, and Identities

Tony E Carey Jr, Mary-Kate Lizotte

2017 Prior research has treated political experience as if it had similar effects for every candidate. However, recent studies suggest that the effects of political experience on trait judgments and candidate evaluations may vary depending on a candidate’s demographic characteristics. Accordingly, this study investigates whether the influence of prior experience varies depending on the racial and gender background of political candidates. To explore this topic, we employ an experiment with a 2 (Race: White and Black) × 2 (Sex: Male and Female) × 2 (Experience: Experienced and Inexperienced) factorial design. [...]

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Investigating women's greater support of the Affordable Care Act

The Social Science Journal

Mary-Kate Lizotte

2018 Healthcare reform has recently dominated the political agenda. There is a consistent gender gap in healthcare policy preferences, and women are more likely to support the Affordable Care Act than men. This study investigates two explanations for the origins of this gap, which connect to a larger debate in political behavior whether symbolic versus self-interest reasons drive public opinion. The humanitarian hypothesis tests whether gender differences on pro-social values, such as humanitarianism, account for the gender gap in healthcare attitudes. Second, the economic security hypothesis tests whether these gender differences emerge because of women's self-interest due to their higher levels of economic vulnerability. There is support for both hypotheses, and each partially mediates the gap. Together they fully mediate the gender gap.

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The Abortion Attitudes Paradox: Model Specification and Gender Differences

Journal of Women, Politics & Policy

Mary-Kate Lizotte

2015 Rather unexpectedly, prior work has failed to find consistent gender differences in public support for legal abortion. Given that gender differences in public opinion emerge for a wide range of other issue areas, it seems paradoxical that there is no consistent gender difference on the issue of abortion. I propose that this failure to find a consistent gender difference is due to how abortion attitudes are modeled. Controlling for religiosity, which research has shown women to score higher on, results in a small and consistent gender gap in support for legal abortion with women more likely than men to support.

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Explaining the Gender Gap in Political Knowledge

Politics & Gender

Mary-Kate Lizotte

2009 Much scholarship has noted that there are significant differences in the political behavior of women and men. Women, for example, are found to be more likely to identify as and vote for Democrats, less likely to hold conservative issue positions, and more likely to vote for incumbents. One of the more disturbing gender gaps occurs in political knowledge: Specifically, women are typically found to be less knowledgeable about politics and government than their male counterparts. We propose that much of the gap can be explained by theories of risk aversion, which imply that women are less likely to guess on questions for which they are uncertain. [...]

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The Impact of Personal Security Dispositions on Citizen Support for the Pursuit of Gender Equality in US Foreign Policy

Sage Journals

Richard J Stoll, Richard Eichenberg, Mary-Kate Lizotte

2022-09-07

Since 1995, presidents from both parties have increased US government initiatives in pursuit of global gender equality, but there has been little scholarly work that explores public support for these initiatives. We analyze the level of citizen support for several types of global gender equality programs. In addition, we explore support for one specific rationale for the policy –the argument that the participation of women in decision-making will make the world a more peaceful place. Our central hypothesis is that personal security dispositions are an important correlate of support for global gender initiatives, and our analysis yields support for the hypothesis. Citizens who place a high value on personal security display stronger support for gender equality in foreign policy. We close with suggestions for further research and discuss the policy implications of our findings, in particular with respect to public opinion on the use of military force.

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