One Way to Look at It

Just out of curiosity, I ran the numbers to see how many states have elected women to major statewide office, which I'm defining as governor ...
by | January 25, 2008

Just out of curiosity, I ran the numbers to see how many states have elected women to major statewide office, which I'm defining as governor or U.S. senator. (No offense to North Carolina Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry.)

Over the last 30 years -- which is essentially the only relevant period for this question anyway -- 27 states have elected women to either or both of these offices. Throw in the District of Columbia, where Sharon Pratt Kelly was elected mayor in 1990, and you're talking a total of 342 electoral votes.

Women_senators1

That's certainly more than enough to carry the presidential contest. The electoral vote rich swing states of Ohio and Pennsylvania, however, have yet to elect a woman to one of these offices.

African Americans, needless to say, have not fared as well. Only Massachusetts and Virginia have elected African American governors and only Massachusetts and Illinois have elected black senators (including you know who).

Even if you throw in Mississippi, which sent two African Americans to the Senate during Reconstruction and where our old friend P.B.S. Pinchback briefly served as governor during the same era -- well, you do the math.

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