Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Culture > News

Haley and Williamson: The Leading Ladies in the 2024 Election

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at American chapter.

Despite differing political views and party affiliations, Marianne Williamson and Nikki Haley have something in common – they are the only female candidates in the 2024 United States primary election. However, neither received their party’s nomination. 

Nikki Haley is a Republican candidate from South Carolina, where she was governor from 2011 to 2017. She then served as United States Ambassador to the United Nations under the Trump administration from 2017 to 2018.

Marianne Williamson, a Democrat from Texas, has never served in office. Williamson is an author who writes self-help books and is best known as Oprah Winfrey’s “spiritual advisor.” 

On the Republican side, Nikki Haley is up against former President Donald Trump, and on the Democratic side, Marianne Williamson is up against the incumbent, President Joe Biden.

Haley aligns with traditional Republican stances, advocating for stricter abortion regulations, lower taxes and Second Amendment rights. Prior to being governor, Haley was voted chair of her freshman class in the South Carolina state legislature, according to Politico. In the same Politico article, Micheal Kruse wrote, “in her second year, she was named the majority whip. In her third year, the speaker put her on the influential Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee.”

Williamson supports women’s reproductive autonomy, saying that she is “100% pro-choice.” She also advocates for a better healthcare system by encouraging the development of walking and biking paths, and addressing toxic water and overly processed foods.

Despite Biden and Trump having lower approval ratings now than in the 2020 election, both candidates have done exceedingly better in the primaries than their female counterparts.

Interviews and analyses shed light on the barriers facing female presidential candidates. Some people express skepticism about a woman’s capability to lead, citing gender-based stereotypes.

In a recent interview with NBC News Now’s Shaquille Brewster, a North Carolina voter said, “A woman’s not going to be a good president, she has no balls to scratch, she’s just going to scratch her head,” when asked if he would consider voting for Nikki Haley. 

Political experts at the University of Virginia were interviewed for an article in UVA Today to discuss the likelihood of a female president in the near future. Professor Barbara Perry of the Miller Center of Public Affairs said, “polls taken in the 1950s showed only 52% of the population would support a female presidential candidate. In the late 1980s, that support rose to 75% and has since increased to more than 90%. But in those surveys, respondents also said they don’t believe their neighbors would be likely to support a woman for president.” 

The continuing doubt that Americans have that women are far from becoming president of the U.S., contributes to the fact that there hasn’t been. Although Americans have seemed to become more progressive on the idea of a female president, internal sexism remains relevant in the U.S. when it comes to women in power. 

Maeve Gleason

American '27

Hi! I'm Maeve, I'm a freshman, studying psychology at American University in D.C. I'm from Chicago and am an only child. I'm very close with my family and friends, I enjoy going to museums, being outside, and going out to eat. This semester I am super excited to get more involved with my university, I joined the Sigma Kappa sorority and am now a apart of Her Campus. I can't wait to continue connecting with interesting people, uplifting women around me, and their stories.