Women are at least 50% (give or take) of the electorate.

However, they clearly are a small fraction of elected politicians.

There are plenty of reasons why a woman may not want to run for office in the first place (your prefered reason may vary with your ideology).

However, what is puzzling, is why do women (or any other identity-politics aficionados who care more about gender than a person's individual qualities) who complain about lack of women being elected, don't actually put their money where their mouths are and support and vote for those women who DO run for office?

This isn't even a partisan thing - plenty of women vote for a man in Democratic primaries featuring both genders, where the standard idiotic explanation of "female candidate is a Republican woman and thus anti-women as all Republicans are" doesn't fly. Let's take the most high-profile case: 2008 Clinton/Obama primaries:

  • Young women supported Obama by 53-45 percent on Super Tuesday (src)
  • Same Super Tuesday, general gender gap was mostly ~10% (src); with NO STATE aside from Clinton's home Arkansas having >60% of women vote for her and many states <50% voted for her
  • Another stats for the whole nomination in 2008: Hillary Clinton got only 51.5% total female votes vs. Obama's 48.5% (src)
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    This is only "puzzling" because its based on a faulty (and insulting) premise. That a significant enough majority of all women "care more about gender than a person's individual qualities" and routinely vote accordingly is simply not supported by fact. There certainly are such people, but not enough to ensure electoral landslides for female candidates. If we view women as rational voters who likely weigh any number of different issues that they find important before making a decision on a slate of candidates, than this example is anything but puzzling. Commented Nov 7, 2014 at 18:43
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    @MichaelKingsmill the premise is the shrill yelling about "patriarchy" in connection with how many women are in elected positions, last heard this election day. What you proposed sounds like a plausible explanation to me, but should be backed up by surveys and such.
    – user4012
    Commented Nov 7, 2014 at 18:58
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    The title doesn't seem to match the question. Do we KNOW that women don't vote more for women when they are on the ballot? Or is the question why aren't there more women on the ballot to begin with? I think using only one example might not translate to the trend in general (it may, but hard to say).
    – user1530
    Commented Nov 7, 2014 at 20:27
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    "This is only "puzzling" because its based on a faulty (and insulting) premise. That a significant enough majority of all women "care more about gender than a person's individual qualities" and routinely vote accordingly is simply not supported by fact." It is good to know that feminist politics is dead, and people don't buy into their faulty reasoning. Whoever said facts stopped feminists, "Because the political body making decisions about my body is over 80% male…wow." --Laci Green
    – user1873
    Commented Nov 9, 2014 at 16:48
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    @DA., the quote is from a self-identified feminist. Not sure exactly how you assumed this was an argument made by a MRA. Do they complain that Congress is 80% male?. She is the one assuming that more women should be voted into Congress/Senate. I don't claim that women should be voting for women, instead I argue that a persons sex has no bearing on the matter whether someone should be elected. So, if anyone is making assumptions here, it is feminists, who believe that sex is a valid reason to discriminate against someone.
    – user1873
    Commented Nov 12, 2014 at 1:53

1 Answer 1


Few voters are more/less likely to vote for a candidate because she is a women.

A recent pew poll 71% of the public said it would not matter if a candidate for President was a woman. The only traits with less impact on support for a candidate were whether the candidate was Hispanic, Catholic, in their 40s, or attended a prestigious university.

Other polls have similarly found a lack of bias against women candidates. A Gallup poll found that if a well-qualified candidate happened to be a woman, 95% of those polled would vote for them. Only Blacks (96%) rated higher, and Atheists (54%), Muslims (58%), and Gays (68%) ranking at the bottom. Women ranked similarly regardless of the political affiliation of the person polled.

Pew also tested for hidden gender bias, often called the Bradley Effect or Wilder Effect. They had respondents rate hypothetical candidates that were identical, except for their gender. The results were clear, gender didn't matter. Other studies show a lack of hidden bias too, with female candidates for Senator out performing their poll numbers.

Your question is based on a faulty and insulting premise, that a significant majority of woman would care more about a candidates gender than their individual qualities. This might be true of feminists, but isn't true of the vast majority as public polls have shown.


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