The mainstream media narrative about the Republican Party and its female candidates is that the party is not sufficiently supporting women in the party either at the grassroots or election level. The narrative was on display during and after the 2018 midterm congressional elections, which saw the Republican female representation in its national ranks shrink to 21 representatives and senators.
NBC News recently profiled a new wave of Republican women, who are preparing for political campaigns leading up to 2020 and beyond. The article, “More Republican women than ever are planning to run for office ,” spoke with Patti Russo, who works at the Women’s Campaign School at Yale University.
In her decades of work at the university, she said that this year, she has received calls from Republican women on how to impact the country in their home states in the coming years. She said, “In the history of our school, we’ve never seen this before.”
Several female candidates were profiled in the article, such as Anne Smith, a former federal government foreign affairs employee who is running for a Virginia General Assembly seat. When asked about her views on Trump’s comments about women, she said it “actually strengthened her case for pursuing elected office.” The article noted how Republican women are reaching out to the party to become involved in politics because they may “feel displaced from the current party.” The article quotes several individuals who guessed that the surge in interest is due to women wanting to make their voice heard and to provide a different and more female-friendly perspective of the Republican Party.
Other political operatives pointed out that this is unusual, as the Republican Party did not have the institutional support for female candidates like the Democratic Party. The mainstream media narrative used to portray Republicans as out-of-touch with women in the Trump presidency, but as this article shows, the Trump presidency is pushing women to become more politically-active for various reasons. Now, the narrative is changing and the mainstream media must adjust to changing circumstances and dynamics.
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