11,000 Women Are Running For Office And We Have Donald Trump To Thank
On Saturday, we’ll have officially survived 100 days of Donald Trump’s presidency. It’s been a confounding, frustrating, often unintelligible couple of months across the aisle and around the world, with more chaos on the horizon as we face a potential government shutdown. But perhaps one of the most heartening and poignant byproducts to come out of all this? The massive numbers of women that have set out to run for office largely in reaction to his presidency as well as Hillary Clinton’s defeat. Earlier this week, the Washington Post talked with Stephanie Schriock, president of political action committee Emily’s List, who said that so far this year, they’ve heard from 11,000 women in all 50 states who have expressed interest in running for their respective school boards, state legislature or Congress (by comparison, 900 women expressed interest in 2016).
Schriock says that at least a few dozen women she spoke to are seriously considering making a run at seats in the House of Representatives--a crucial battleground in 2018. In order to gain control, Democrats will need 24 new seats, which is a big ask, but it also sets the stage for women to make an unprecedented showing in the political sphere in the coming years. In December--a mere month after the election--Emily’s List told the Huffington Post they’d received $770,000 in donations, with more than a third coming from new donors, and She Should Run, another organization that trains women to run for office, reported in January that 6,000 women had gotten in touch and expressed interest in running.
All of which is to say: Keep at it, ladies. A Harvard study actually showed women are not less likely to be voted into the House of Representatives based on gender, and yet they only account for 20% of the seats because of the confidence gap and the fact that women are still acting as the primary caretakers for children, among other factors. But these numbers suggest there’s a serious sea change going on, so cue up the Twisted Sister and get ready to take it to the ballot, ‘cause all signs indicate we’re not gonna take it.