New Brunswick, NJ-- While Hillary Clinton did not emerge from Election 2016 with sufficient electoral votes to become the next U.S. president, she did win a plurality of the popular vote, conclusively answering the long-standing question: are Americans willing to vote for a woman as president?
Since 1937, Gallup has asked, with slightly varying wording, whether Americans would vote for qualified people in various categories for president, and “a woman” has always been on the list. In 1937, 33 percent said they would vote for a woman; since that time, the percentage answering affirmatively has risen steadily from 54 (in 1958) to 76 (in 1978) to 92 (in 1999) to 95 (in 2012). In June of 2015, 92 percent said they would vote for a qualified woman if nominated by their party.
“The results of Tuesday’s election show us that when given the opportunity, Americans will vote for a woman for president,” observed Debbie Walsh, director of the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP).
However, Walsh added, “By no means has gender bias disappeared from the presidential playing field. This year’s victor wooed voters with a variety of appeals based on stereotypical masculinity -- even questioning whether Clinton ‘looked presidential.’ Until we can fit ‘woman’ and ‘presidential” together comfortably in our minds, women will continue to face distinct challenges in running for chief executive.”
Daniel De Simone: email@example.com; 760.703.0948