Why Women Are Dominating Democratic Primaries

By Alex Roarty
McClatchy Washington Bureau

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) As Columnist Alex Roarty reports, “Democratic women running for House seats have scored important victories in general election battlegrounds such as Texas, Nebraska and California, where they have bested male rivals even in races where they raised less money and had less institutional party support.”

WASHINGTON

Anna Greenberg was Bill de Blasio’s pollster in 2013 when the then-candidate for New York City mayor defeated former front-runner Christine Quinn, a victory Greenberg says was a case of the liberal de Blasio’s ideology trumping Quinn’s gender.

If the race were re-run today, she says the result would be different.

“That race felt like gender didn’t matter,” said Greenberg, who cited de Blasio’s support among college-educated women as important to victory at the time. “And it’s hard to see that this year. Because gender matters.”

Indeed, gender does matter this year, nowhere more so than in the Democratic Party’s House primaries.

Already, Democratic women running for House seats have scored important victories in general election battlegrounds such as Texas, Nebraska and California, where they have bested male rivals even in races where they raised less money and had less institutional party support.

Their success has intrigued Democratic pollsters, who say the data offer no singular explanations for this phenomenon. Instead, leading pollsters describe multiple factors boosting women this year, ranging from sweeping cultural forces to a subtle feeling among liberal-leaning voters that women are more progressive. The wins are also tied to President Donald Trump, they say, but not just because of his personal behavior.

“I’m highly skeptical that there’s one theory or a dynamic that explains this voting trend,” said Matt Canter, a Democratic strategist and former deputy executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. “It’s a confluence of a number of important factors, most importantly that these women who are winning are great candidates.”

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