Women make up 50 percent of the population, but only account for 25 percent of candidates running for political office. These were the numbers released last week by thePew Research Center, and they are the same numbers we know from similar research on the dearth of women running for and holding down seats at the local, state and federal level. And while the hard data is nice to have, it rarely reveals some previously unknown truth about why things are the way they are when it comes to women in politics.
But this is the big question, of course. Why don’t more women run? We know that when they do, they tend to raise as much if not more money than their male peers. We also know that they do well where it counts: winning. “At this point, when Democratic women run, they tend to win,” Jess McIntosh, communications director for EMILY’s List — an organization that supports pro-choice women candidates – recently told National Journal writer Lucia Graves.