First Woman to Win a U.S. Presidential Primary?

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I certainly haven’t read every article covering last night’s win by Hillary Clinton, but what I have read seems to have glossed over something I am fairly certain is true: she’s the first woman to win a presidential primary in American history.

Am I wrong about this? Did someone I’m not thinking of win some state along the way in the past? I looked through the list (available here) of past female candidates for President and couldn’t find anyone, upon further research, that had won a state.

If this is correct, regardless of what you think of her candidacy compared to the others’, Clinton accomplished a major first yesterday in New Hampshire (that, of course, has come way too late in American history). Congratulations to her!

– David S. Cohen

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0 Responses to First Woman to Win a U.S. Presidential Primary?

  1. My husband mentioned the same thing as we watched the coverage last night, and we couldn’t think of anyone either. It is remarkable — both remarkable that it has happened and at the same time remarkable that it took so long.

  2. jmjohnso13 says:

    Shirley Chisholm won the New Jersey primary when she ran for president in 1972. She was the first.

    http://www.chisholm72.net/campaign.html
    http://www.americanwomenpresidents.org/the_campaign.htm

  3. wojo says:

    Not to rain on any parades, but by the measure that actually matters (delegates), Obama and Clinton split last night’s vote.

  4. whitecat says:

    Shirley Chisholm, 1972, New Jersey, was the first.

  5. Well, there you go. Thanks to both of you for pointing that out!

  6. Ann Bartow says:

    Okay, did some research and Shirly Chisholm did win the New Jersey Democratic Primary in 1972. She got 67% percent of the vote, while Terry Sanford got 33%. The eventual Democratic candidate, George McGovern, wasn’t on the NJ Democratic primary ballot. Nor were contenders Edmund Muskie or Eugene McCarthy, apparently. That was also the year that George Wallace won the Florida and Maryland Democratic primaries. Things have been very polarized in this country for a long time…

  7. whitecat says:

    “I’ve always met more discrimination being a woman than being
    black.”

    “One distressing thing is the way men react to women who assert their equality: their ultimate weapon is to call them unfeminine. They think she is anti-male; they even whisper that she’s probably a lesbian.”

    “The emotional, sexual, and psychological stereotyping of females begins when the doctor says: It’s a girl.”

    “Prejudice against blacks is becoming unacceptable although it will take years to eliminate it. But it is doomed because, slowly, white America is beginning to admit that it exists. Prejudice against women is still acceptable. There is very little understanding yet of the immorality involved in double pay scales and the classification of most of the better jobs as “for men only.” (1969)”

    all quotes by Shirley Chisholm.

    Things haven’t changed much, have they?

    More eye-opening quotes here: http://womenshistory.about.com/od/quotes/a/shirleychisholm.htm

  8. Ann Bartow says:

    And still more clarifying. According to this article:
    http://www.alternet.org/election08/73436/

    It turns out Hillary may have the more “historic” win — if race and gender “firsts” are the yardstick. Technically, Shirley Chisholm takes both “firsts” with a New Jersey primary win in 1972. And Jesse Jackson won five primaries and caucuses in 1984 — including Virginia, Louisiana and D.C.

    On closer inspection, according to Allan Lichtman, professor of history at American University, Chisholm actually won a “nonbinding preference, where no delegates were awarded” against ex-Gov. Terry Sanford. Humphrey, McGovern and Muskie did not compete. As Lichtman put it, “This is the first time in American history a woman won a major contested presidential primary.” At the very least, the first time in 36 years a woman had won a primary.