Virginia Tech political scientist Brandy Faulkner believes this year’s midterm elections are unlike anything previously seen, thanks to a surge in the number of women running for office, along with renewed enthusiasm among women voters.
“The elephant in the room of course is the 2016 presidential election. A lot of people are trying to figure out how to better participate in politics after that election and its results,” said Faulkner. “We’ve seen a push from both parties actually for women to become more involved.”
“A lot of voters are looking for motivation. What’s going to motivate them to go to the polls? Sometimes it’s the women candidates they identify with. Other times, it’s events like the Cavanaugh hearings that might inspire them to go vote.”
Virginia features some of the closest congressional races in the nation. Women are running in the 1st, 2nd, 5th, 6th and 7th districts. In the 10th district, both candidates are women.
“It’s been very exciting to see the role of women since the 2016 election, which has served as the catalyst for a lot of women we see running for office across the state of Virginia,” said Faulkner. “Many of these races are very close and very tight, and it’s really changing the political landscape.”
About Brandy Faulkner
Professor Faulkner’s areas of specialization include constitutional and administrative law, race and public policy, and critical organization theory. She teaches courses in Public Administration, Constitutional Law, Administrative Law, Research Methods, and The Politics of Race, Ethnicity, and Gender. She teaches in the department of political science in Virginia Tech’s College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.
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