This is just a thought experiment, but I was trying to figure out when we might expect a woman to be elected President.
The Democratic presidential nominee in 2020 will more likely than not be a woman. The most exciting new statewide officeholder is Kamala Harris, who as California Attorney General was a leader on justice reform. The liberal favorite is Elizabeth Warren, who also has the advantage of coming from the big state next to New Hampshire. The establishment favorite is Kristen Gilibrand. Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota is also a plausible nominee. There is also a conceivable shot that the person who won the popular vote, and has a lot of support in the party will make another go in what may be a more favorable general election environment.
There are plenty of men who would be strong contenders, and may very well get the nomination (Sherrod Brown, Julian Castro, Cory Booker, etc.) and it could be that someone we’re not focusing on now will excite the party, but my sense is that odds are better that the next Democratic nominee will be a woman than a man. However, even if there are better than even odds that a woman will win the Democratic party’s nomination in 2020, and they may have a better than even odds against President Trump, it’s still not going to be a combined 50%.
Odds of a female President may be worse in 2024, assuming Democrats lose in 2020. Warren and Gilibrand will be less appealing candidates the longer they stay in the Senate, and there would be the possible blowback from two women losing in a row (this would be in the scenario in which Democrats nominated a woman for President in 2020, and that person fared just as well as the majority of major-party nominees who run against an incumbent president). There might also be more men who will emerge as party leaders, just because men are more likely to run for political office in general, and to serve in the kinds of offices that serve as launching pads for presidential bids. On the Republican side, Pence would be the frontrunner for the nomination, so if the country goes more Republican, his election would delay the arrival of the first female President.
It could very well take a while for a woman to be elected to the White House. The following is all plausible:
Democrats nominate a woman in 2020, and she loses to Trump, just as the majority of challengers to incumbent Presidents end up losing in the general election. This is especially true if the incumbent President’s party took back the White House in the previous cycle. It could also be that Trump leaves the White House in an embarrassing fashion, and that the public decides they want stability rather than a fourth President in a five year period, electing Pence to a full term.
Democrats nominate a man in 2024, and he wins, which tends to occur when parties hold the White House for two terms. He gets reelected in 2028, as is typical.
So it would all end up depending on who parties nominate in 2032.