Politics & Polls #11: Gender & Politics

Sep 15 2016
By Julian Zelizer and Sam Wang (Produced by B. Rose Kelly and Bonelys Rosado)
Source Woodrow Wilson School

Hillary Clinton was sidelined by walking pneumonia this week, lighting up the internet with speculations and rumors about her health. Stories like these shine a spotlight on one of the biggest issues in the campaign: the role of gender in politics.

Since Clinton was named nominee of the Democratic Party, commentators have been taking a hard look at the way gender impacts the political process. Yet, when it comes to gender, it is rarely a clear-cut or easy discussion.

Working to disentangle the role of gender in politics is award-winning journalist Rebecca Traister, the best-selling author of “All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation.”

In this episode of Politics & Polls, professors Julian Zelizer and Sam Wang interview Traister, a writer-at-large for New York Magazine who has written extensively about gender and politics. Traister’s latest book, “All the Single Ladies,” draws upon historical research and interviews with nearly 100 women to examine the intricate truths of single women’s sexual, economical and emotional lives.

During the discussion, Traister dives deep into how gender has influenced the campaign and describes the powerful role of single female voters. 


Zelizer is the Malcolm Stevenson Forbes, Class of 1941 
Professor of History and Public Affairs at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He has been one of the pioneers in the revival of American political history. He is the author of several books including, most recently, "The Fierce Urgency of Now: Lyndon Johnson, Congress, and the Battle for the Great Society." Zelizer is a frequent commentator in the international and national media on political history and contemporary politics. He has published more than 600 hundred op-eds, including his weekly column on CNN.com

Wang is professor of neuroscience and molecular biology at Princeton University. He is known for his books "Welcome to Your Brain" and "Welcome to Your Child's Brain" and for his founding role at the Princeton Election Consortium, a blog providing U.S. election analyses. In 2004, Wang was one of the first to aggregate U.S. presidential polls using probabilistic methods. In 2012, his statistical analysis correctly predicted the presidential vote outcome in 49 of 50 states. He has also developed new statistical standards for partisan gerrymandering. A neuroscientist, Wang's academic research focuses on the neuroscience of learning, the cerebellum and autism.