1 in 4 Women Polled are Motivated
to Run or 
Become Politically Engaged
because of the 2016 Election
Bustle and VoteRunLead Conduct
The American Women’s Political Engagement Poll

67% of all women surveyed said healthcare is the top issue for them
when considering a candidate, and 15% plan to run for office,

according to a new study conducted by Bustle and VoteRunLead

Read the Bustle Article “How and Why Trump’s Election Got Women So Psyched About Politics”

Download the full report HERE
Download the Press Release HERE

The “Woman Card” Is A Myth

Women are influencing elections in new ways. The #MeToo and #TimesUp movements are influencing elections. Women are showing their ownership over their bodies and their rights as American citizens through political action; 39 percent of women ranked women’s rights as one of the top three issues they are passionate about. More women are encouraged to run for office than ever before. Regardless of party affiliation, women are feeling empowered to run because they saw someone… Read more

Movements That Have Become the Mainstream

The attention and consequences garnered by the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements are working because women believe that sexual harassment and assault are being taken seriously. Thirty-three percent of women indicated their reason for becoming more politically active was #MeToo, the Women’s March, or considering themselves part of the resistance. And, exactly half of all poll respondents agreed with the statement “The harassment and assault of women is being taken seriously by men in positions… Read more

Political Experience Is No Longer A Barrier For Entry

The surge of women running for office is in the millions, and there is no sign of the momentum stopping.   More than 1 in 4 (26 percent) of the women polled indicated that they have been motivated to run or politically engaged because of the election. That is potentially 18 million women with ambitions to run for office. Of the women considering running, half of them are interested in running by 2020. A clear… Read more

Taking Gender Out Of The Voting Equation

Women are voting on the issues that are most important to them, as opposed to a candidate’s gender. The data from this survey and the 2016 election results bear this out and supports longstanding views that women are issue-based voters. Seventy-nine percent said that when choosing between candidates, they do not take gender into account 78 percent said that gender does not affect their likelihood of voting for someone; they look at all candidates equally… Read more

What Matters Most To Female Voters

American women look for candidates to be honest with them. When asked which traits they feel are most important in an ideal political candidate, nearly two-thirds (66 percent) said “honesty” was what mattered most. It was a clear lead characteristic, followed by “consistent track record” (following through with that they say) (42 percent) and “that their values align with mine” (23 percent). Women of all backgrounds felt this way, but the group that had the… Read more

Different Parties, Same Issue

All women polled selected healthcare (67 percent) as the most important issue to them. A distant second, rounding out the top three issues, were education (48 percent) and the economy (43 percent). When split across party, healthcare was still the top issue among Democrats (71 percent), Republicans (70 percent), and Independents (66 percent). The poll results very clearly pointed to the fact that the most important topics on women’s minds are nonpartisan. Everyone wants to… Read more

Where Do We Go From Here

Bustle and VoteRunLead both feel a civic responsibility to women in America, providing them with the resources to get and stay politically active in their communities. The results of the poll have laid a roadmap for work to be done nationally on a nonpartisan level. To best support the rising number of women stepping up to run in 2018 and beyond, VoteRunLead is crisscrossing the country with its nonpartisan #RunAsYouAre curriculum for women at all… Read more


The American Women’s Political Engagement Poll was developed through a partnership between Bustle Trends Group and VoteRunLead to shed light on how women really feel about running for office, political affiliations, and their engagement leading into the 2018 midterm elections.


Gain a greater understanding of where women stand when it comes to fundamental beliefs, public service, and politics. We set out to:

  • track the top issues for American women, across ages;

  • understand their political ambitions and motivations, from the full political spectrum; and

  • better understand the concerns of women stepping up to vote, to run for office and to lead. 

N = 1,000
Demographics: W18-49, U.S.
Field dates: 2/12 – 2/14
Survey Platform: Pollfish