Gender and the Presidency: A Look Through Polling History

Women still make up less than a quarter of elected officials at nearly all levels of government

Democrats in six states will go to the polls on Tuesday, the anniversary of the day eight years ago that Hillary Clinton conceded the Democratic presidential nomination to then-Sen. Barack Obama.

Clinton is projected to become the presumptive Democratic nominee this year — the first woman to do so for a major political party.

Clinton is not the first woman to be on a national ticket — Sarah Palin was a vice presidential candiate in 2008, as was Geraldine Ferraro in 1984 — but the national mood about women in politics has evolved over the years.

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In 2015, an NBC/WSJ poll showed that a combined 85 percent said they would be either enthusiastic (30 percent) or comfortable (55 percent) with a woman in the White House.

But a few decades earlier, the acceptability of a female candidate was more controversial.  

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