WOMEN IN POLITICS . . . TO RUN OR NOT TO RUN?

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Women are less than half as likely as men to consider running for political office, according to a survey released today by a bipartisan women's group. In the poll of 1,000 voters, the National Women's Political Caucus found that 18 percent of men would consider running for office, but that only 8 percent of women would. Why? Pollster Celinda Lake, who conducted the survey, says women are less likely to feel qualified or simply didn't feel they know how to run -- in addition to worries about raising money, finding time away from their families and exposing their private lives. (A second survey by Lake of a more likely pool for recruits -- executives, lawyers and activists -- also favored men, 38 to 25 percent, though 58 percent of women activists alone were gung-ho.) If women do run, an earlier Caucus study found, they are just as likely as men to win.