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Soc. Sci. 2016, 5(2), 16;

Political Experience and the Success of Female Gubernatorial Candidates

Department of Political Science, California State University, Fullerton, CA 92831, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Nancy Naples
Received: 10 January 2016 / Revised: 8 April 2016 / Accepted: 20 April 2016 / Published: 25 April 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women, Gender and Politics: An International Overview)
Full-Text   |   PDF [207 KB, uploaded 25 April 2016]


This research examines the effect that political experience has on the success of female gubernatorial candidates by analyzing the female vs. male gubernatorial elections from 1976–2014. The study questions whether prior statewide political office experience is advantageous for female candidates and is this consistent across party lines. This research builds on the political pipeline theory, which suggests that the shortage of women holding higher level political office, such as governor, is due to the lack of qualified and motivated women running for political office. We argue that women who hold lower level statewide office develop the necessary experience and name recognition that provides them with the qualifications and motivation, both within themselves and from other sources such as political parties, to run for and win the office of governor. Our findings suggest that statewide office experience is important for the success of Democratic women gubernatorial candidates but not for Republican women gubernatorial candidates. View Full-Text
Keywords: women gubernatorial candidates; state elections; political experience women gubernatorial candidates; state elections; political experience
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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O’Regan, V.R.; Stambough, S.J. Political Experience and the Success of Female Gubernatorial Candidates. Soc. Sci. 2016, 5, 16.

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