STUDY: 26% “ANGRY OR UPSET” BY FEMALE PRESIDENT….Last month I blogged about a poll showing that while only (only!) 17% of respondents said they’d have trouble voting for a woman for president, 45% claimed that “most” of the people they know wouldn’t do so.

So which is it? Is the 17% number too low because some people won’t fess up their true feelings to a pollster? Is the 45% number too high because people are too cynical about their neighbors? Or what?

Via John Sides, some political science types at Northern Illinois University and Loyola Marymount provide an interesting way of measuring something closer to the true answer. They presented a control group with a list of four items and asked how many of those items made them “angry or upset.” The average was 2.16 items. (Respondents didn’t have to say which items they were.) Then they presented a second group with the same set of items except they added one more: “5. A woman serving as president.” This time the average response was 2.42 items. The poll was conducted in March 2006 (so it’s probably not merely a reaction to Hillary Clinton personally), sample size was large, and all the usual statistical controls were in place. The full paper is here and has all the details if you’re interested.

So what does it mean? The arithmetic is simple: (2.42 – 2.16) x 100 = 26%. This means that 26% of the respondents were angered or upset by the notion of a woman serving as president.

As it turns out, this number is about the same for men and women and it’s about the same regardless of whether you’re college educated. The oddest finding (I thought) was that the highest level of anger came from the 30-50 age group. Why would that be? Full demographic results are below the fold.