AP NEWS

Kirsten Gillibrand blames low polling on ‘gender bias’: ‘It’s real and it exists’

May 13, 2019

Democratic presidential hopeful Kirsten Gillibrand said Saturday that she’s being underestimated as a serious candidate for her party’s nomination because of “gender bias.”

The New York senator, who is polling at less than 1% in a field of nearly two dozen Democrats, told CNN that it takes longer for women to win over voters than male candidates.

“I think it’s just gender bias. I think people are generally biased against women. I think also biased against young women,” Ms. Gillibrand, 52, said. “There’s just bias and it’s real and it exists, but you have to overcome it.

“Voters will give a woman a shot. They just have to get to know her,” she continued. “They might make a judgment without knowing her, but once they meet her and know who she is and why she’s running, it will give her that opportunity.

“If I’m going to be the candidate of the women’s vote, which I fully intend to be, those voters might not come home until October or November or December,” she added.

Ms. Gillibrand, who has yet to hit the 65,000-donor threshold to get into the first and second debates, criticized the Democratic National Committee for imposing such a rule.

“That’s an odd measurable,” she said. “Like, why do you make that your measurable as opposed to have you won elections before and have you ever run statewide before and how many votes have you gotten before and have you passed legislation and are you effective in your job?

“I think it’s random and inaccurate, but it’s their choice,” Ms. Gillibrand said. “They’re the DNC, so I’ll follow the rules that are given and I’ll have to play by the rules, I don’t think it’s a measure of success. I don’t think it’s a measure of electability. I don’t think it’s a measure of quality of candidate. I think it’s just a measurable about how many online folks like you, which is not determinative of any of the things that matter about whether I’d beat Trump. At all. Not at all.”