More women than normal on Ind. ballots



As the midterm election approaches, predictions for outcomes of congressional races are calculated to estimate how the 114th Congress will shape up.

For the next two years, Congress is projected to have more men than in the previous term.

Currently, 79 women are serving in the House of Representatives. Sixty-one are projected to win their respective elections. Eleven of the 44 races filling vacant seats have female contenders.

Twenty women are currently serving in the U.S. Senate, and that number of women is expected to remain the same after the 36 Senate races.

While many have expressed concern that not enough women serve in Congress, their minority is apparently not because of voter bias against women.

“Nationally, there is evidence that women are less likely to run for office at any level,” associate professor of political science Barnard Fraga said.

Fraga said that women are often not asked to run for local, state or federal positions as often as men are, which is not an indicator of their competence, he said.

If women are asked or encouraged to run for an office, they are more likely to do so.

“There’s just something about being asked,” Fraga said.

This might explain why more women are represented on the Indiana ballot than in previous elections.

In 2010, Indiana held three statewide races with no women running for them. In 2012, two women ran in statewide races.

That number has doubled to four for the auditor, treasurer and secretary of state races for the upcoming election.

One woman in each of those races is an incumbent or has worked in the office before. Secretary of State Connie Lawson was appointed to her job in 2012. Auditor Suzanne Crouch was appointed to hers in 2013.

Kelly Mitchell, Republican candidate for treasurer, worked in Richard Mourdock’s office. She resigned this year.

Nineteen percent of House of Representative candidates in Indiana are women, which is higher than the candidate percentage in 28 states.

Indiana representatives Susan Brooks and Jackie Walorski are projected to win their seats this fall. Three other women out of 26 candidates are running for Congressional seats in Indiana.

According to a Gallup poll from earlier this year, 63 percent of Americans believe the US would be governed better if more women were in office.

The midterm election ?is Nov. 4.

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