This article analyses publicly reported statements of motivation by non-incumbent women US House candidates in 2018 to assess the role of negative emotions, particularly those cued by catalysing events like the 2016 presidential election, in women candidate emergence. Findings reveal that Democratic non-incumbent women candidates were most likely to describe negative inducements, including feelings of urgency, anger and/or threat, as motivating candidacy, with these emotions slightly more evident in white women’s statements. This indicates that women’s candidacies can emerge, at least in part, from perceptions that the costs of not running are too high to stay on the sidelines.
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