When asked, “Generally speaking, do you think a woman can win the presidency of the United States, or not?” only 15 percent of registered voters said no. But what’s telling is that the percentage of women who doubt a woman can win the Oval Office is more than double the proportion of men who say so. One in 5 women say a woman cannot win the presidency; 9 percent of men say the same.
From the earliest days of the book’s publication, the concept received a lot of pushback. Some thought Sandberg’s approach came from a place of wealth and privilege that did not jibe with the reality of most women’s lives, especially women of color. Obama’s public dismissal of the concept affirmed what many women, particularly the black women who count themselves as some of her biggest supporters, have long known: combating sexism while climbing the career ladder and trying to balance family life is especially hard in a racist society.
This approach to next month's race mirrors the 2016 presidential campaign in many ways. While Hillary Clinton and others opposing Trump's candidacy frequently attacked his policies affecting women in addition to his past statements and behavior with women, the economy was one of the top issues for voters in 2016, including for women. The overwhelming majority — 90 percent — of Trump supporters said the economy was a “very important” issue for them, according to the Pew Research Center.
“Black women have been the most loyal supporters of the Democratic Party, through thick and thin,” Avis Jones-DeWeever, an adviser to the Black Women’s Roundtable, said during September’s Congressional Black Caucus conference. She said the party has focused more on wooing back “white male voters who have not supported the Democratic Party for 50 years” rather than “watering the garden in your own back yard.”