In 2020, Gender is Back on the Ballot

Barbara Lee | Jun 17, 2019


In 2016, for the first time in history, a woman was on the presidential ballot as a major party’s nominee. In 2018, more women candidates made history, running for Congress—and winning—in record numbers. The 2020 presidential and congressional races are in early stages, but once again an unprecedented number of women are stepping up to run.

Will history be made again? 2020 marks the centennial of women’s suffrage. Next November, women will have been voting in presidential elections for 100 years. Could it be the year Americans finally elect the first woman president? Seeing multiple women on the debate stage will be historic in itself. How will it shape the dialogue? And are we really still talking about women’s likeability?

Many questions remain to be answered, but one thing is certain: in 2020, gender is back on the ballot.

Once again, the Barbara Lee Family Foundation will be following along. Together with our esteemed partners at the Women & Politics Institute at American University School of Public Affairs, we’re launching a new project to provide the public with real-time, expert analysis of gender dynamics and their effects on key races up and down the ballot.

We’ll respond to breaking news and go beyond the headlines, diving deep into the complicated role gender plays in politics and how we reward, punish, and police it. We’ll examine fraught conversations around issues like a woman’s electability, authenticity, ethics, and qualifications. And we’ll provide historical context and new polling data to help campaign watchers—from everyday observers to professional pundits—make sense of the 2020 races as they unfold.

To be clear, the discussion of gender is not just a discussion about women. It’s just as important to look at how men satisfy or subvert societal expectations and, in the era of #MeToo, grapple with changing norms regarding their personal and professional conduct.

Please join us as we share our findings and continue this fascinating and critically important conversation.

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Sign up for our newsletter to keep track of all things gender and politics.

Join the Conversation