227 Years in the Making

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Rebecca McDowell
Master of Public Affairs ’16

Yesterday, California voters voiced their political opinions and headed to the polls. As a result, for the first time in history, a woman won the nomination of a major political party. On the news this morning, the anchors were discussing Hillary Clinton’s primary election win and said something that caught my attention. In 1960, Sirimavo Bandaranaike became the first female prime minister, ever. Now, I already know equal representation within elected office severely lacks in this country, but with yesterday’s win, I saw gender inequality, particularly in politics and leadership roles, with new eyes. The United States is fifty-six years behind other nations electing women to lead a country, yet people often assume the United States is a leader in many areas. That may be so for some things, but electing women to office, not so much. Continue reading

Why Tuesday’s Election is Important

Corey Cook, PhD

Corey Cook
Corey Cook, Professor of Politics is currently on leave but is still a critical observer of local, state and national politics. Professor Cook regularly contributes to the Leo T. McCarthy Center blog while he establishes the School of Public Service at Boise State University.

By the time polls close in California this coming Tuesday, the two major party nominees for president will likely be known. And while the results in California’s Democratic primary will garner substantial media attention, the country’s most populous state, and the one awarding the highest number of delegates to the Democratic Convention in July, will not have mattered in choosing the party’s nominee. Again.

But while the presidential election will dominate election night coverage, as is increasingly the case around the country, voters will effectively be choosing the vast majority of their elected officials during the primary election. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 43 states now have governors and a majority of state legislators of the same party. In about half of the states, the majority party has 2/3 control of the state legislature. Continue reading