Reflecting on women’s suffrage centennial during Women’s History Month

Notre Dame Professor of Political Science Christina Wolbrecht’s recent book, A Century of Votes for Women: American Elections Since Suffrage, is the definitive resource on the first century of women voters. Here she reflects on how women continue to shape politics.

Preserving the history of women's suffrage

There wasn’t a great repository of information regarding how women voted after they won the right to in 1920. Wolbrecht and her co-author Kevin Corder, professor of political science at Western Michigan University, wanted to ensure the preservation of this data.

Women don’t vote as a bloc

Any expectation that gender is the most important thing guiding women’s votes is almost certainly incorrect.

How has the passage of the 19th amendment - the largest expansion in the U.S. electorate - affected elections and national issues?

What is the impact of suffrage, the largest expansion of the electorate in U.S. history? Women’s votes are powerful and sought after, boosted Obama into the White House and defeated controversial candidate Roy Moore in a special election in Alabama in 2017.

What does it mean that the U.S. has never had a woman commander in chief?

All viable women candidates are now out of the running for the democratic nomination. How does this affect future voters? 

When women run for office

Professor Wolbrecht and her Notre Dame colleague David Campbell, the Packey J. Dee professor of American democracy and department chair, conducted research with adolescents, revealing how viable women candidates inspire teen girls.