Most Americans Think The U.S. Would Be Better Governed If More Women Were In Charge

A new Gallup poll reveals that 63% of Americans think we'd be better off with more female political leaders.

Tina Fey famously quipped on SNL in 2008 that "bitch is the new black," asserting that the reason that Hillary Clinton was trailing Barack Obama was because of a lot of not-so-subtle misogyny.

Of course it’s not just Hillary Clinton who has faced an uphill battle; many female politicians have found themselves the subjects of questions, criticisms, and scrutiny that their male counterparts never have to face.

However, a new poll from Gallup shows that 63% of Americans say the country would be better governed with more female political leaders, which is up slightly from 57% in past polls in 1995 and 2000. But not everyone feels this way: While 78% of liberals as well as 78% of unmarried women think we need more female political leaders, only 46% of Republicans feel that having more women in office would result in better government, and almost one in five (19%) feel it would be worse.

Meanwhile, four in five Americans (81%) say the U.S. would be better governed if more people with business and management experience were in political office. Which means in theory that everyone in the tiny pool of women CEOs should run for office.

Of course, a lot goes into the public’s voting decisions, and while Americans may claim to view demographic and professional backgrounds in a certain way, their final voting decisions can be swayed by many other factors. And there’s the argument that less women than men run for public office in the first place.

Still, the proportion of women in elected offices remains staggeringly low when you consider that women make up 51% of the U.S. population: Women’s representation in both the House and the Senate hovers around 20% (there are currently 20 female U.S. senators and 79 female U.S. House members), and there are only five female state governors in office.

According to Gallup’s research however, we are at least slowly moving in a more equitable direction. "Far more women have been elected to federal or statewide office in the years since 1990," writes Justin McCarthy in the Gallup report. Maybe next we can finally stop talking about what they are wearing.

[Image: Shutterstock]

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4 Comments

  • Kris Swanson

    While this article indicates that more women in the US are getting elected to office, I have one question that was not asked/answered; How many women who run for public office are defeated? The problem may not be that women are not getting elected, but that for lots of good reasons, they are not running for office. This would be interesting to know.

  • Americans are probably looking beyond leadership attributes when it comes to this survey. "Better governed" in my opinion is a statement to what kind of society would they like to live in, and in that sense, probably women -or what the gender represents- is something valuable to them. I´d use that approach to understand these results.

  • rob

    Oh boy, this is going to get me in trouble! But name me one country or state that has been ruled or governed better by a woman? Go on. I can name one, Maggie Thatcher, she had balls anyway. But who else? Merkel is an unmitigated disaster, Gillard in Australia should be in jail for what she did to the joint. Look at Brazil now, has gone form being a boom economy under a male president to a basket case economy with a DEEPLY unpopular President. Did she see the reaction of the fans at the World Cup final?

  • Lauren Longo

    If we're just using anecdotal evidence to support our beliefs, I'm sure we can find plenty of examples of male leaders screwing up their countries.