The Power of Women in Politics

YourvotecountsIt’s Super Tuesday–that wonderful time of year when the greatest number of states hold their primary elections and this year those states are voting for who will be their party’s presidential candidate.  Statistics show that the majority of candidates who win Super Tuesday go on to represent their party in the national election, making Super Tuesday a super big deal.

It’s been a crazy election season–to say the least–and women have been a big part of the political discussion.  Here are some of the stories that have caught our attention:

 

“If you were writing a Hollywood screenplay about the race for the White House centered around an experienced woman with a real chance of becoming the first female president, you would expect that candidate to be doing better with women than her male rivals,” writes CNN’s Kelly Wallace in her piece Why the female generational divide for Hillary Clinton?. “In fact if you wrote that she wasn’t resonating as well with women voters, executives might pass on the script saying it wasn’t believable.” But that’s what has been happening with Hillary.  Right before the New Hampshire primary, the majority of women under the age of 45 were siding with her democratic rival Bernie Sanders.  Why?  According to the article, the pressure to “vote according to your gender” is backfiring with today’s Millennials.  “Like my fellow young feminist women, I recognize that voting for a woman because she’s a woman is sexist, just like voting for a man because he’s a man is also sexist,” said Ariana Javid in the article.  “When older feminists like Albright and Steinem engage in increasingly baseless and wild explanations about why young women don’t support Hillary, they display the limitations of their brand of feminism, while young women like me realize that one’s gender isn’t what makes them a feminist.” Click here to read Kelly Wallace’s full article–and don’t miss seeing her moderate our panel on Women, Sports and the Media during Generation W.

 

One of the key demographics that could hurt or help a candidate this year?  African-American women. According to a recent story on RawStory.com,  African-American women could be decisive on Super Tuesday, the voter turnout rate among eligible blacks is one of the highest among all racial, ethnic and gender groups.  “Especially in southern states with large black voting-eligible populations–including South Carolina, Mississippi, Georgia, North Carolina and Louisiana–the black female vote out performed in terms of registration and turnout,” states the article.  This Super Tuesday, southern states dominate with 6 out of the 11 states sitting squarely in the south.  While the African-American population traditionally supports the Democratic party, the power and influence of African-American women voters is not lost on the Republicans.  The Republican National Committee released a one-minute video yesterday featuring African-Americans–the majority of which were women–voicing their support for the party.  “We are strong, we are determined, we are overcomers, we are committed, we are loyal,” states one of the women in the video.  Click here to read the entire RawStory.com piece and click here to see the RNC’s recent video.

 

If you want to win this year’s election you better understand and resonate with…single women.  The much-discussed piece from New York Magazine, The Single American Womanstates that single women, with their rapidly increasing numbers, are becoming today’s most powerful voter. “Almost a quarter of votes in the last presidential election were cast by women without spouses, up three points from just four years earlier,” writes Rebecca Traister. “According to Page Gardner, founder of the Voter Participation Center, in the 2012 presidential election, unmarried women drove turnout in practically every demographic, making up almost 40 percent of the African-American population, close to 30 percent of the Latino population, and about a third of all young voters.” Single women are driving the change behind the relationship American women have with their government–using their voice and influence to create both economic and social policies that are not only good for women, but good for everyone.  As the article suggests, single women are making up “a new republic, a new category of citizen.”  Click here to read the entire New York Magazine piece.

 

Regardless of your party affiliation or choice of candidate, we encourage you to get out and vote.  Every vote and voice truly does count!

 

 

 

image courtesy of flickr CC/League of Women Voters of California LWVC