Tammy Duckworth's press coverage of her bid for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2006: a qualitative content analysis of the coverage of a disabled Iraq War veteran

This study examined the coverage of U.S. Army Major Tammy Duckworth, from the beginning of her recovery from her war injuries at Walter Reed Hospital in 2005 through her candidacy for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2006 by two newspapers: the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times. Qualitative content analysis was used to analyze a total of 113. This study examines Duckworth's portrayal in two phases of the election. First, in the primary race, her portrayal showed her to be competitive and an unusual Democratic candidate with the best potential to win a seat in the House of Representatives. In the second phase, during the general election, Duckworth was presented as a weaker candidate when competing against her male Republican opponent. This negative portrayal ultimately made her appear less qualified to represent the 61 h Congressional District. Thus, her news coverage became more in line with the negative portrayal of women candidates in the past.