The Dis-Empowerment of the Gender Gap: Soccer Moms and the 1996 Elections

by Susan J. Carroll
PS: Political Science & Politics 32 (March 1999)

The predominance of the soccer mom frame in coverage of the 1996 presidential election campaign helps to explain why the largest gender gap in the history of voting in the U.S. and strong support for Bill Clinton among women voters did not translate into substantially increased political clout for most activists who claim to represent women's interests. Instead of empowering feminist and other women's organizations, the soccer mom news frame actually led to the disempowerment of most women through its narrow portrayal of women voters and their interests.