This probably won’t come as a surprise to anyone, but record numbers of women candidates are running in the upcoming election. Most of the women candidates are Democrats, which will likely increase the number of women given the favorable climate for Democrats in this election. According to the AP,
Record numbers of women now serve in the House (67) and Senate (14).
In the 36 governor’s races this year, 10 women are running, half of them incumbents and half of them Democrats. There are currently eight female governors, six of them Democrats.
In state legislative races, a record 2,431 female candidates are running this year, of whom 1,563 are Democrats. The previous record of 2,375 was set in 1992, but the numbers of female candidates seemed to hit a plateau after that.
When I think about the increasing number of women, I wonder if women will be able to shift some of the policy focus. Could we (women) help reshape views on Iraq, abortion, day care, equal pay? I am both cynical and optimistic. The cynical side of me says, women leaders will end up doing the same pandering as men, and policy won’t shift much, but the optimist in me believes a critical mass (I’m not sure what percentage that would be) could make a difference. What do you think? If the number of women increases, do you think this could affect policies or do you think we will start to see the women politicians join the ranks of the “good old boys”?