Will This Be The 'Year Of The Woman' In Politics?

Published: Wednesday, September 19, 2018 - 2:39pm
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There are more female candidates for public office across the country this year than ever before.

For the general election, 23 women are still in U.S. Senate races — including both major party candidates in Arizona, Kyrsten Sinema and Martha McSally — and 239 remain in the race for U.S. House seats.

Explanations for why so many more women are running include opposition to President Trump and support for the #MeToo movement. The current confirmation fight over U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and a rape allegation against him has also spotlighted some potential differences in how male and female elected officials view related issues.

To learn more about how significant 2018 may be when it comes to women in office, The Show talked with ASU Political Scientist Kim Fridkin at her office. We asked whether we’re going to continue to see a lot more women jumping into politics — even if this year’s candidates don’t win at a huge rate.

Meanwhile, polling data from Republican pollster John McLaughlin suggested that 85 percent of Americans won't consider gender as a factor when voting in November. 

The conservative-leaning Independent Women’s Forum commissioned a poll last month and asked 1,000 likely voters whether they believed that poll to be true. According to IWF senior policy analyst Patrice Onwuka, nearly a third of the poll’s respondents said they would like to see more women in Congress, but that wouldn’t determine how they’d cast their vote.

Onwuka talked about whether she believed the narrative around people wanting to vote more for women has been overstated.

The Arizona Democratic Party is counting on voters moving toward their candidates because of their stances on issues like education and healthcare. But the party will also hope to draw support for female nominees who can bring different perspectives and a different approach.

The party chair is Felecia Rotellini, former attorney general nominee, and she said women tend to be problem-solvers.

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