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Massachusetts And The Political Glass Ceiling

Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate Elizabeth Warren talks to the media after casting her vote in the Massachusetts state primary in September. (AP)

Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate Elizabeth Warren talks to the media after casting her vote in the Massachusetts state primary in September. (AP)

Massachusetts revels in its liberal reputation. The state was the first in the nation to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples and create a universal health care coverage system.

Yet there’s a sobering paradox: No woman has ever been elected to the governor’s office or the U.S. Senate. In fact, in its entire history, the state has only elected four females to Congress. Far more conservative states such as Kansas, Texas, North and South Carolina, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arizona have elected women from both parties to the lead their states. New Hampshire and Maine both currently have two female senators — only one of whom is a Democrat.

Elizabeth Warren is the woman trying to break this purported political glass ceiling in Massachusetts.

Her Senate run has re-ignited debate over whether local politics is more socially conservative than we imagine, and if a double-standard does exist for female candidates.

Guests:

  • Curt Nickisch, WBUR reporter
  • Shannon O’Brien, former state treasurer and the first woman to be elected in Massachusetts to state-wide office

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