(Seneca, SC — May 20, 2015) – Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has alluded to an intention to run for President of the United States in 2016.
And that increases the odds that the next President will be a woman.
While Graham’s official announcement won’t be made until June 1, political pundits immediately began musing about the doubling of the “Mrs. President” odds. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) announced her candidacy on April 12, and in current polling she is clearly the frontrunner of all declared – and undeclared – candidates.
Regardless of the outcome, nominating either Clinton or Graham for the 2016 ticket would be incredibly historic.
In the case of nominating a candidate for President of the United States, neither the Democratic Party nor the Republican Party has yet to cross that threshold, even though 36 women have been nominated since 1872.
Of the 89 women who have been nominated as Vice-President of the United States since 1884, Geraldine Ferraro (D-NY) wasn’t nominated until 1984 as running mate to Walter Mondale (D-MN). The Republican Party waited even longer, nominating Sarah Palin (R-AK) in 2008 as running mate to John McCain (R-AZ).
“We could finally see a female major-party candidate in 2016, which would be electrifying,” said a political scientist, speaking on condition of anonymity. “And there’s also the possibility of seeing two women running against each other from the two major political parties. That’s just astonishing.”
But can Graham pull ahead of the ever-growing pack of Republicans and eventually win the nomination?
“The odds are against him,” said a political strategist, speaking on condition of anonymity. “The Republican Party – and especially the Tea Partyists – lean more and more to the right each day, and Graham hasn’t reached that plateau yet. “On the other hand, his voice is just about as shrill as Sarah Palin’s, so that’s a plus.”