Twelve women ran for governor last year. Six won. Palin was the only winner who wasn’t already an incumbent, according to Melissa Millsaps, a consultant for something called the Governors Project, which studies how women win the office around the country.
She said the project is part of the Barbara Lee Family Foundation.
At the Foundation’s Web site, there’s a kind of guidebook for women running for governor. The synopsis, says, in part:
Keeping up Appearances: More Important Than You Think
Personal qualities and performance often outweigh substantive issues with voters. The initial impression that a female candidate makes stays with voters longer and is less likely to change than voters' impressions of a male candidate. These impressions are molded by the candidates' personal presentation, style, confidence and communication skills, as well as the performance of the candidate's campaign organization.
Performance Under Pressure: Grace and Grit Wit Voters are particularly attentive to moments in a campaign (i.e. press conferences and debates) when they might glimpse the "authentic," unscripted candidate. A female candidate's mistakes at these moments are more vivid and longer lasting than similar gaffes committed by male candidates.