Women Poised to Make Gains in Election

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”?

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16 Responses to Women Poised to Make Gains in Election

  1. 1
    Polymath says:

    and let’s not forget that if the democrats take the house, women will win big in another way: nancy pelosi will become both the speaker of the house and the closest woman to the presidency ever in terms of the constitutional succession laws.

  2. 2
    Robert says:

    I don’t think Pelosi will win as Speaker even if Democrats take the House. (But don’t tell anybody I said that, because the horrifying prospect of Speaker Pelosi is motivating my allies to get out and vote.)

  3. 3
    Rachel S. says:

    (But don’t tell anybody I said that, because the horrifying prospect of Speaker Pelosi is motivating my allies to get out and vote.)

    LOL!! Yeah, for some reason it is.

  4. 4
    Robert says:

    She reminds us all of that friends’ mom we had in junior high school, who would act all nice and bring cookies out to the garage and stuff, but who we knew was actually abusing her children and washing down valiums with rye. You never wanted to go over there, but you did anyway because you felt so bad for the kid and wanted to give him just one afternoon where he could pretend to be normal, pretend that there wasn’t anything going on.

  5. 5
    Ampersand says:

    She reminds us all of that friends’ mom we had in junior high school, who would act all nice and bring cookies out to the garage and stuff, but who we knew was actually abusing her children and washing down valiums with rye.

    Gosh, Rob. That is in no way at all unhinged.

    While you’re at it, don’t forget to tell us about how Hillary had Vincent Foster murdered!

  6. 6
    Robert says:

    I thought it was Bill that had it done, and Hillary just took the fall. (Or was that the coke runs into Mena airport?)

    I didn’t say Pelosi was the psycho mom, I just said she reminded us of her.

  7. 7
    Jake Squid says:

    … the horrifying prospect of Speaker Pelosi is motivating my allies to get out and vote.

    I suppose it would if your allies were politically aware enough to know who she is. (Polls tend to show that her name is recognized by less than 1/3 of voters)

  8. 8
    RonF says:

    Rep. Pelosi has always struck me as one of the more extreme members of her party. Extremists have not won the Speaker’s position in my memory. Is it a given among Democrats that she’ll win the Speaker’s seat if the Democrats take over?

  9. 9
    CJ says:

    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”?

    Both. Women are not a unified body of voters with a single opinion on war, welfare and abortion. Women in government will need support from the men in government and from the male voter, they’ll have to pick their battles and gain allies like any male politician. Overall it will be to the good, because a balanced female aspect in government gives it a whole perspective, and decisions should be wiser in the long run.

  10. 10
    ms_xeno says:

    [blink]

    If Pelosi counts as an extremist, I’m divorcing Kevin Federline.

  11. 11
    ms_xeno says:

    What do you think?

    I think that a pandering politician is a pandering politician. Oh, sure, women will be slammed twice as hard as men for doing the same old crap, but that doesn’t mean that their doing the same old crap is any cause for rejoicing. I notice few female candidates in either of the Big Two calling for bringing the troops home immediately. So perhaps in some tiny, remote corner of their hearts, they long to lavish goodies on the downtrodden. Yet they must know that as we continue to shovel massive amounts of money and human lives into the sinkhole that is the Mid-East, it’s not going to happen.

    Certainly Pelosi, Clinton, Landreiau, Cantwell, and their ilk are ample evidence that there is little more to expected of women than men. They all kowtow to the same interests at the end of the day, and those interests are not compatible with humane values. They’ll think of their careers and incomes first, and everything else will vie for a distant second. I’m surprised that there is any question of this being the case.

    Machismo is the order of the day, and women who want to go far will demonstrate as much machismo as they can plausibly manage in the public sector.

  12. 12
    RonF says:

    Certainly Pelosi, Clinton, Landreiau, Cantwell, and their ilk are ample evidence that there is little more to expected of women than men.

    I remember when there were actual expectations that female politicians would change politics, instead of the politics changing them. But it seems to me that the lesson here is that male or female, people are people. Put them in the same situation and there are going to be a lot of motivations affecting their behavior that will override any effects from their gender. Different methods, maybe, but the same end result.

  13. 13
    Decnavda says:

    ms_xeno,

    As a San Francisco resident, I have to ask what’s up with dissing that group of women as kowtowing to interests not compatible with human values and including Pelosi on that list. Especially when you left off Fienstien. Unless you are such a lefty purist that you think anyone who does not plan to dismantle capitalism is incompatible with human values, Pelosi has to count as a solid progressive. The leftists in this city generally treat liberal Democrats like they’re conservative Republicans, protesting them and putting strong support behind green opposition canidates. We recognise and regret that our former mayor Feinstien is, with the defection of Liberman, now the most right-wing Democrat in the Senate not from the former Confederacy, and gay-marrying Mayor Newsom is protested with posters comparing him to Arnold and Bush.

    But they mostly leave Pelosi alone. She’s not perfect, but she’s on the side of the people, and that’s why she scares the bejious out of the likes of Robert.

  14. 14
    ms_xeno says:

    Unless you are such a lefty purist that you think anyone who does not plan to dismantle capitalism is incompatible with human values, Pelosi has to count as a solid progressive.

    Small wonder that I have zero interest anymore in wearing any particular label, least of all, “Progressive,” which seems to mean whatever its user wants it to mean. Pelosi has sucked up more or less unrelentingly to the war machine from the day she took the Speaker post, and the fact that she has done this from one of the most allegedly “progressive” districts in the U.S. makes it all the more reprehensible. She gets added points for declaring that impeachment is for big babies and that she wants no part of it.

    Keep your fucking “progressivism,” if that’s the best you can do for a spokesperson. Oh, and thanks for the “purist” insult. I was scared that yet another flock of genuine Right-Wingers and/or mere Quislings in Blue would be annointed to high office this year without my managing to collect the traditional snide remark from at least one of their champions.

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