Thursday, April 13, 2006

The Path To Electing More Women May Lead Through Redistricting

GOP Hokie has been writing about the redistricting. Here's one thing he probably hasn't thought about:

American University Professor Barbara Palmer is the co-author of an interesting new book about women candidates for political office that got great coverage in David Broder's column in the Washington Post this week.

Among the most interesting of Palmer's findings reported by Broder is this:

Demographic changes now underway will increase the number of districts where women can compete. But the radical suggestion from Palmer and Simon is for states to use this knowledge of what makes a district "woman-friendly" in the next round of redistricting, after the 2010 Census, to increase substantially the number of women in Congress. As women in state legislatures position themselves for the coming redistricting battles, that's something they can keep in mind.

There's lots more of interest in the book, "Breaking the Political Glass Ceiling: Women and Congressional Elections," which looks at all of the women candidates who ran for Congress between 1956 and 2004 and identifies the characteristics of the districts in which they won and lost.

Sounds like a good read for anyone who wants to run for Congress or who would like to help identify women candidates for districts well-suited to electing them or who would like to know how to draw districts that would elect women!

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