“Women are disrupting the norms of politics,” Kelly Dittmar, the project director for Gender Watch 2018, a branch of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University, told Broadly. “They’re more willing to present themselves in a way that’s authentic, whatever that means to them. They’re less concerned about meeting the masculine stereotypical demands of being a candidate for political office this cycle…and [aren’t] trying to fit into a mold that wasn’t created for them.”
“Women are disrupting the norms of politics"
Still, the losing campaigns we may credit with creating lasting impressions on our political system can have tremendous personal costs for the women who ran them.There isn't much data available on how much the average losing candidate spends on their campaign, but in 2016, the average winning House candidate spent $1.3 million, according to campaign finance tracker Open Secrets. Often, candidates loan their campaigns large sums of money to get their races off the ground and make them look competitive to outside donors. Republican candidate Pearl Kim has said she's poured her "life savings" into her first-time bid for office. Kim is running in a solidly Democratic Pennsylvania congressional district she is likely to lose.Bush said that, having lost her job after her failed congressional bid (Bush wouldn't comment on whether her termination had anything to do with her campaign), she was worried about keeping her home. She said she came away feeling like you still had to be wealthy to run for office.
“We have to measure success for women in ways other than electoral success or defeat”
"I’ve done campaigns for about 20 years, and I’ve worked for winners and losers," Reynolds said. "The reality is, sometimes you lost your first race. Barack Obama did."When I asked Bush whether she would run for office again, she said, "I probably will." She said that despite how difficult it was to launch a congressional campaign against a sitting politician, she wants Black women in her community to see it's possible."Running this year planted the seed that it's something I can do and I believe it will encourage other Black women to run too," Bush said. "Maybe in 10 years, 20 years, 30 years—maybe it's not even in my lifetime—it will be a regular thing that Black women won't just run but will be seated in every office in this country."Maybe by then, it'll be the norm."
"The reality is, sometimes you lost your first race. Barack Obama did."