POLITICS + GOVERNMENT

Is the U.S. still not ready for a woman president?

Mar 8, 2024, 3:00 PM

nikkie haley walks off stage, are americans not ready for a woman president ?...

Republican presidential candidate former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley walks off after speaking during a news conference, Wednesday, March 6, 2024, in Charleston, S.C., (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

(AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

SALT LAKE CITY — Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley officially ended her campaign for president on Wednesday. Almost half of Americans said they are not ready to elect a woman to higher office. A Utah advocate for female leadership says women candidates — even today — face a steeper climb into office than men do.

 

The first woman to run for U.S. president was Victoria Claflin Woodhull. In 1872, she was the candidate of the Equal Rights Party.

Her opponents were Ulysses S. Grant (R) and Horace Greeley (D), according to the Center for American Women and Politics.

Hillary Rodham Clinton tried twice. Losing to Sen, Barack Obama in 2008, and despite winning the popular vote by almost 3 million votes, Clinton lost the Electoral College and conceded the general election to then-president-elect Donald Trump on Nov. 9, 2016, according to the Center.

When asked how important it is that a woman be elected president in their lifetime, 18% of U.S. adults say this is extremely or very important to them. But most (64%) say this is not too or not at all important or that the president’s gender doesn’t matter, a survey by Pew Research found.

Always going to be levels of gender discrimination, says advocate

Susan Madsen, founding director of Utah Women & Leadership Project, joined Dave and Dujanovic to discuss the challenges women face in running for public office.

Madsen said female candidates face different questions than male candidates do, such as, “Are you tough enough?”

“There’s always going to be levels of gender discrimination, you know, into our future and some are conscious but a lot are unconscious,” she said.

The Pew Research survey also found U.S. voters listing many reasons why there are fewer women than men in high political office:

  • Women having to do more to prove themselves than men (54%)
  • Gender discrimination (47%)
  • Women getting less support from party leaders (47%)
  • Many Americans not being ready to elect a woman to higher office (46%)
  • Family responsibilities (44%)

Dave pointed out that Haley received 42% of the Republican vote in Utah on Super Tuesday, compared to 58% for Trump. He said he couldn’t accept the conclusion that 58% of voters chose Trump because Haley is a woman.

“So I can’t look at that 58% that voted for Trump and say ‘Oh, they were the sexists that didn’t want Nikki Haley,” he said.

“She lost out to a guy with 91 indictments,” Debbie replied.

Dave & Dujanovic can be heard from 9 a.m. to noon. Monday-Thursday and from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Fridays on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, as well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play.

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Is the U.S. still not ready for a woman president?