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Minnie Fisher CunninghamA Suffragist's Life in Politics$
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Judith N. McArthur and Harold L. Smith

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195304862

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195304862.001.0001

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“Too Gallant A Walk”? Running For The Senate, 1928

“Too Gallant A Walk”? Running For The Senate, 1928

(p.131) 7 “Too Gallant A Walk”? Running For The Senate, 1928
Minnie Fisher Cunningham

Judith N. McArthur

Harold L. Smith

Oxford University Press

In 1928 Cunningham became the first woman from Texas to run for the U. S. Senate. Like most women who aspired to Congress in this period, she lost. This chapter argues that whilst prejudice against women political candidates and difficulty raising campaign funds were potent factors in keeping women out of elective office, political style has also played an important part. The disinclination of many, like Cunningham, to adopt the male model of electioneering rendered them politically ineffective. Female political culture, shaped by voluntary associations, favored educational campaigns focused on in-depth discussion of issues and rejected the attack-style combat that men used. Believing that the electorate shared her disgust with the status quo and would respond enthusiastically to an “intelligent” political campaign, Cunningham was deeply disillusioned when the male candidates ignored her and the voters elected the most aggressive contender.

Keywords:   U.S. Senate, women political candidates, female political culture, electioneering, political style, political campaigns

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