Women in Politics: Three Good Signs We're Closing the Gender Gap

Kamala Harris’ vice presidential nod isn’t the only good sign women are closing the gender gap in the political world, long-dominated by men.

The country is rightly talking about Kamala Harris. But NBCLX’ Noah Pransky details three good signs that the signs of progress for women politicians doesn't stop there.

  • Record number of Congressional nominees – According to the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) at Rutgers University’s Eagleton Institute, 261 women have won major-party nominations for Congress, breaking the record of 234 set in 2018, with eight state primaries still to go. That includes 78 Republican women, blowing past the party’s 16-year-old record of 54.  “We are never going to reach gender parity in this country in our legislative institutions if only one party is electing women,” said CAWP Director Debbie Walsh, heralding the milestones.
  • America wants more female leaders – When NBCLX and Morning Consult asked the country to score their politicians, 15% of poll respondents gave female leaders “excellent” ratings, compared to just 8% of men. And when it came to specific characteristics, the country indicated women possessed better political skills than men.  The research – coupled with stats indicating women win races at the same rate as men – suggests the problem is no longer getting America to vote for women, but getting more women to actually run for office and elevating more women to prominent positions where they can climb the political ladder.
  • Kamala making more history – Harris will become just the third woman ever nominated to a major-party ticket and the first woman of color.  She already broke ground as America’s first biracial Senator.  “It opens up a world of possibilities for women,” said Walsh.  “It signals to the world that women are taken seriously at that level…it also signals how many women are out there who can actually lead at this level.”