Sunday, December 23, 2007

Pardon Me, Have You Seen My Payback?

[T]wo new groups have migrated to the Democratic Party -- and provided the basis for an enduring majority coalition.

First, there are women, who used to vote disproportionately Republican. (In 1960, for instance, women backed the Republican Richard M. Nixon, with his 5 o'clock shadow, over the dashing Democrat John F. Kennedy.) But in the 1990s, troubled by the Republicans' ardor for the religious right and opposition to social spending, they began voting disproportionately Democratic -- especially single women, working women and college-educated women. In the 2000 congressional elections, single women backed Democrats over Republicans by a whopping 63 percent to 35. Even better news for Democrats: Women are more likely to vote than men.

More here.

And, yet,

In 2007, 86 women serve in the U.S. Congress. Sixteen women serve in the Senate, and 70 women serve in the House. The number of women in statewide elective executive posts is 76, while the proportion of women in state legislatures is at 23.5 percent.

Congress: women hold 86, or 16.1%, of the 535 seats in the 110th US Congress — 16, or 16.0%, of the 100 seats in the Senate and 70, or 16.1%, of the 435 seats in the House of Representatives. In addition, three women serve as Delegates to the House from Guam, the Virgin Islands and Washington, DC.

Statewide Elective Executive: In 2007, 76 women hold statewide elective executive offices across the country; women hold 24.1% of the 315 available positions. Among these women, 45 are Democrats, 28 are Republicans, and 3 were elected in nonpartisan races.

State Legislature: In 2007, 1,735, or 23.5%, of the 7,382 state legislators in the United States are women. Women hold 425, or 21.6%, of the 1,971 state senate seats and 1,310, or 24.2%, of the 5,411 state house seats.
More at the Center for American Women and Politics site. And, of course, there has never been a woman president or vice president.

What's wrong with this picture?


The Kenosha Kid said...

We need more pols like that hottie governor of Alaska.. Rrrrowrrr!

Uh, I guess I am part of the problem, not the solution, huh?

sotteos said...

Yes, there is sexism involved. However, look at the roads to holding office. Most Congresscritters are lawyers or political science majors (maybe it just seems that way?) Apologies to kitty-killer Frist, but very few are doctors, or engineers, or teachers. What percentage of poli-sci majors are women? What percentage of lawyers are women (and here, count only lawyers in the 35+ age range)?

Maybe the discrimination, or dis-inclination, happens in college, or even before. If women represent a large chunk of today's law school graduates, then in fifteen years, I would expect a large share of our Representatives to be women.