There are those who believe that women will propel Hillary Clinton to the presidency in November, seizing the opportunity to put the first of their kind in the White House. After all, that’s what black voters helped to do for Barack Obama in 2008.

Clinton herself hopes this is true. In declaring victory over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, for example, Clinton played up the historic nature of her candidacy, crediting her win to “generations of women and men who struggled and sacrificed and made this moment possible.”

Donald Trump, the Republican nominee, has criticized Clinton for trying to exploit her gender and has attempted to rally those who believe it’s no cause to vote for her. After a night of primary victories in April, he told supporters: “If Hillary Clinton were a man, I don’t think she’d get 5 percent of the vote. The only thing she has going is the woman’s card.”

The story line around the 2016 election may focus on a battle of the sexes. Polls show that women favor Clinton, while Trump is doing better than her with men.

But the latest political science research indicates that neither sexism nor feminism is likely to decide this race. It turns out that other factors — primarily the political party of the candidate — are much more important than gender stereotypes, which seem to barely matter at all.

“There is very little evidence that women are more likely to vote for women candidates simply because they are women,” says Kathleen Dolan, a political scientist at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee whose 2014 book “When Does Gender Matter? Women Candidates and Gender Stereotypes in American Elections” examined votes for women who ran for Congress and governorships in 2010. Likewise, Dolan says, “There is very little evidence that men don’t vote for women candidates because they are women.”

Clinton, in other words, can’t count on a boost from women, but nor should she fear a backlash from men. That doesn’t mean, however, that she does not enter the race with a built-in advantage. She does: the gender gap.

How can sexism and feminism be non-issues in the campaign while the women’s vote gives Clinton an advantage?

Simply put, women tend to vote for the Democratic candidate for president, while men prefer the Republican. Democrats have the edge because more women vote — many millions more.

This runs counter to many feminists’ gut instinct that sexism is working against them.

And there’s some evidence that Clinton has suffered for her gender, given her devastating loss in the Democratic primaries to Obama eight years ago and her struggle to put away Sanders this year, despite her higher profile and broader experience in government.

“We have a deep-seated misogynistic, sexist society,” says Rosemary Camposano, who co-founded the WomenCount political action committee in May 2008 to protest some Democrats’ calls for Clinton to drop out of the Democratic nominating contest that year. “There is deeply embedded resistance to a woman, and particularly a strong woman.”

But according to numerous studies going back to the 1970s that have examined women’s prospects running for Congress or governor, that’s simply not so.

Robert Darcy and Sarah Slavin Schramm of George Washington University wrote in a 1977 article that a congressional candidate’s gender had “little or no effect on election outcomes,” for example. In 1985, John Zipp and Eric Plutzer of Washington University in St. Louis found the same in their study of 1982 Senate and gubernatorial races. In 1994, Barbara Burrell of Northern Illinois University wrote in her book, “A Woman’s Place Is in the House: Campaigning for Congress in the Feminist Era,” that women are as successful at winning elections as men.

But at one point, there was clear bias. When the Gallup Organization asked in 1936 if its respondents would “vote for a woman for president if she was qualified in every other respect,” 2 in 3 said no.

Shortly after Clinton’s loss to Obama, the Pew Research Center asked a similar question and 92 percent of respondents said they would vote for a woman. At the same time, though, more than half of those polled by Pew said they didn’t believe their fellow Americans were sincere. Fifty-six percent said they thought “America was not ready for a woman leader.”

That, despite the fact that political scientists have found consistently since the 1970s that women who run for office win at rates equal to those of men. The reason women remain so underrepresented in political office is not because they face discrimination at the ballot box, but because so few of them run, which may well be the result of underlying sexism.

In her study, Dolan found that women running for the House in 2010 won votes at rates as good as or better than the men. Democratic women representatives as well as Democratic women seeking House seats did slightly better than Democratic men. Republican women representatives accrued votes at nearly the rate the men did and did slightly better than their male counterparts in challenging incumbents.

But Dolan and many others have found that men are much more likely than women to view themselves as strong candidates for elective office. So women who run tend to wait until they have more political experience, as was the case for 2010 House candidates. The women that year were significantly more likely than the men to have served previously in a state-level office.

In the run-up to the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Camposano and her colleagues were angry enough with the Obama campaign for perceived sexist slights that they said they were considering writing in Clinton’s name or voting for the Republican candidate, Sen. John McCain of Arizona. They attacked then-Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean and even the top Democrat in the House, Nancy Pelosi of California, for betraying Clinton. And they even criticized as sexist Democrats who were mocking McCain’s choice of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate.

Heidi Li Feldman, a Georgetown University law professor who organized an advertising campaign before the 2008 Democratic convention to demand that Clinton’s name be placed in nomination — Clinton ultimately called for Obama’s nomination by acclamation, short-circuiting the convention vote — said at the time that Obama’s ascension was “the product of a corrupt process.”

So it became awkward this year for Clinton’s most fervent, feminist supporters when Sanders started winning more young women’s votes than Clinton, and later, when he refused to drop out of the race after it was clear he had lost.

Feldman says she sees Sanders’ appeal to young women as a symptom of America’s sexist culture.

“What I think the media hasn’t covered and hasn’t reported is a thoroughgoing feminist perspective on the Sanders candidacy and the reaction of young men and women to someone they can think of as cool granddad versus mom,” she says. “And it turns out that this is a comment about the culture, not something conscious in the minds of anyone who is supporting Bernie Sanders.”

Still, she doesn’t condemn Sanders or the young women who supported him. Others have.

Before the New Hampshire primary, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said “there’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women” to pressure womankind to back Clinton. Sanders won anyway, with 82 percent of 18- to 29-year-old women and 55 percent of all Granite State women voters.

Feminist icon Gloria Steinem told HBO’s Bill Maher that young women were backing Sanders because “the boys are with Bernie.” She later apologized.

The conventional wisdom among the feminist older generation remains that young women voted for Sanders because they haven’t experienced the kind of sexism older women have, and that they will fall in line in the general election. Another theory is that young women see that sexism no longer holds women back in politics and believe that a woman will eventually be elected president, whether it is Clinton or someone else. They are willing to wait for a better candidate to make history.

Overall, in the primaries, Clinton won the women’s vote handily. Clinton also enjoyed an advantage among women in her 2008 primary campaign.

Clinton on average received 8.6 percent more votes from women than she got from men in the 2008 primaries and 10.6 percent more in 2016, according to research by Barbara Norrander, a political science professor at the University of Arizona.

That, at least, is an indication that Democratic women may favor a candidate of their own gender in a primary contest.

But Dolan, in her analysis of 2010 voting returns for House, Senate and gubernatorial general election races, found that partisanship trumps both gender loyalty and gender stereotypes.

Camposano, an example of that, ultimately did vote for Obama. And she expects that women will coalesce around Clinton and propel her to victory this year.

The circumstances of the race seem to set Clinton up perfectly and she is encouraging women’s solidarity. After Trump said she was little more than an affirmative action success story, Clinton responded by offering a $5 “Woman Card” for sale on her campaign website that looked like a New York City subway fare card, except it’s pink and touts her candidacy.

But Dolan’s research shows that it’s unlikely that many conservative women will vote for Clinton out of any sense of gender loyalty.

Dolan’s study throws much of the political science research on sexism on its head because, in the past, political scientists have primarily asked people how they felt about hypothetical women and men candidates and found all sorts of gender stereotyping, such as male candidates are more decisive and tough, or they handle economic and defense issues better than a woman would. By contrast, female candidates are presented as more honest and compassionate and handle issues like child care and education better than men.

But Dolan found that when voters are given more information about specific candidates, their party loyalties overwhelm their preconceived notions.

In 2010, Democratic women who’d like to see more women in office didn’t abandon Nevada Sen. Harry Reid for his opponent, Republican Sharron Angle, any more than Republican men skeptical of women’s ability to govern abandoned New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte for her opponent, Democrat Paul Hodes.

And while it’s true that never in American history has a woman run for president as the candidate of a major party, it’s also true that the electorate knows a lot about Clinton that either challenges or confirms any preconceptions they might hold about women office-seekers.

Clinton might look at how strongly blacks turned out for Obama in 2008 and 2012, increasing their typical turnout rate from 6 in 10 eligible voters to 2 in 3, and get excited about a history-making women’s vote. The 10 percent jump among eligible black voters going to the polls meant that a greater percentage of blacks cast ballots than whites, a first in American history.

She shouldn’t count on it.

“Racial consciousness really is a thing,” says Dolan. “Black voters really were motivated to vote for a fellow minority. We find much less evidence that gender consciousness is a thing.”

But Clinton doesn’t need to win over Republican women or hope for a game-changing increase in turnout. Any increase in women’s turnout — 65.6 percent of women voters cast ballots in 2008 and 63.7 percent did in 2012 — plays to her benefit because a majority of them are almost certain to favor her. By contrast, only 61.5 percent of men turned out in 2008 and 59.8 percent in 2012.

The gender gap, as measured by the Gallup Organization, hit an all-time high of 20 percentage points in 2012. Obama beat Republican Mitt Romney by 12 points among women voters, but lost men to Romney by 8 points.

And one thing has remained consistent since 1988: The Democrat wins women. The closest Republicans have come since George H.W. Bush took the women’s vote by 4 percentage points that year was 2004, when his son lost it by the same margin.

In each of the last six presidential elections, excepting 2004, Democrats’ advantage among women has exceeded Republicans’ among men. And in three of those years — 1992, 1996 and 2008 — Democrats won both the women’s vote and the men’s vote.

Before the feminist movement took hold, a gender gap existed in U.S. politics, but women voted for the party men did. No one can say why that changed, but political scientists have theories.

Norrander says the gap is the result more of men moving strongly into the Republican Party than of women embracing the Democrats.

“Men started to move into the Republican Party after 1964,” when Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater began to mold a new conservatism based on states’ rights themes aimed at appealing to white voters in the South and West, Norrander says. “They did so at a greater and faster rate than women.”

The issue is not, Norrander argues, a question of where the parties stand on women’s issues, like abortion or child care — her research shows those are not a deciding factor — but on the parties’ broader governing philosophies. Women have preferred Democrats because they are the party of compassion and a generous safety net that women are more likely to use. Men prefer the self-reliant, libertarian tones of the GOP.

That’s created an advantage for Democrats because many more women vote. The number of women casting presidential ballots has exceeded that of men since 1964 and the difference has widened almost every presidential year. In 1964, the difference was 1.7 million votes, according to an analysis by the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University. It’s grown and was never greater than in 2012 when 9.8 million more women than men cast ballots.

“If women turn out, Democrats could have an advantage,” says Dolan.

Clinton can’t expect women to vote for her simply because she’s a woman, but she can reasonably assume that a higher women’s turnout will help her win.

And she has reason to be encouraged. According to a study Norrander presented at the Midwest Political Science Association Conference this April, Democratic women turn out at greater rates than Democratic men in primary contests.

With Clinton in the race, in both 2008 and 2016, women voters turned out at rates that exceeded men by more than 15 percentage points.

In 2000 and 2004, when all the Democratic candidates were men, the gap wasn’t as large: 13.5 points in 2000 and 9.5 points in 2004.

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Bernie Sanders started a political revolution in 2016, but it became immediately obvious on the first day of the Democratic National Convention that Sanders is not entirely in control of the movement he began.

The first signs of a mutiny in Bernieland came hours before the convention was gaveled to order in Philadelphia, as Sanders addressed a group of supporters eager to get their marching orders. When he signaled that the time had come to move on from battling Hillary Clinton and shift the focus to Republicans, Sanders could not rein in their anger.

"We have got to defeat Donald Trump!" Sanders said to cheers. "And we have got to elect Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine!" For the next 60 seconds, Sanders tried to speak over boos that rained down. Holding his hands up to silence the jeers, he implored them, "Brothers and sisters! Brothers and sisters! ... This is the real world we live in."

But the Berniacs didn't want to hear about the real world. They weren't done with the the fight that Bernie had begun.

Elsewhere in the city, different pro-Sanders protestors were chanting the same anti-Clinton taunt that RNC delegates shouted in Cleveland last week, yelling, "Lock her up! Lock her up!" Another group shouted "Hell no, DNC, we won't vote for Hillary!"

At a Market Street hotel, the leader of "Delegates for Bernie," Norman Solomon, made it clear he and his group weren't done with Clinton, either, no matter what Sanders has to say.

"We will take everything under advisement, including from Bernie Sanders, but we are totally independent of the Sanders campaign," Solomon said. "As beloved as Bernie is, his brilliance comes from the fact that he's not running the show."

Between the Wikileaks trove of DNC emails, the scandal engulfing DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and Clinton's choice of moderate Sen. Tim Kaine as her running mate, Solomon said progressives felt Clinton was continuing to "thumb her nose" at them. Challenging Kaine's nomination on the floor of the convention this week could be one of their last chances to stop her progress.

Karen Bernal, a Bernie delegate from California, said she'd heard "through the grapevine" that the Sanders campaign was pressuring them not to be so overt in their protests, both in the city and on the convention floor.

"My job is to make sure that the wishes of my states' delegation are heard," Bernal said. "They are going to do what they feel is in keeping with the so-called political revolution."

The biggest test for Sanders and his revolution came Monday night, when he gave an unambiguous endorsement of Clinton and urged his supporters to follow suit. For the most part, they did.

"To all of our supporters here and around the country, I hope you take enormous pride in what we have achieved," he said. "We have begun a political revolution to transform America and that revolution, our revolution continues."

Even as many stood weeping on the convention floor, Sanders declared, "Hillary Clinton will make an outstanding president and I am proud to stand with her tonight."

At that moment, Sanders' presidential ambitions finally ended, but progressives say they expect him to be a force within the party and nationally.

Because of the strength of his campaign, his opposition to the Trans Pacific Partnership has now become accepted Democratic policy, even as President Barack Obama continues to support it. Sanders also won changes to the Democratic platform, and on Monday, the resignation of Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz as chair of the DNC.

It may not be the White House, but Sanders is poised to nonetheless emerge from 2016 elections with more power and influence than he ever had before. If Democrats take back the Senate, Sanders is in line to take over the Health, Education, and Labor Committee, where he could leave his mark health care and welfare policy for a generation.

He's also likely to be the de facto leader of the often unwieldy progressive movement, even more so than Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who had unofficially occupied that role leading up to the 2016 elections.

"I think Bernie will have way more influence than Warren because he's shown the guts," Solomon said. "He's shown the guts."

Solomon also said more details of that possible challenge to Kaine will come out as the week goes on, whether or not Bernie endorses the fight.

Roll Call columnist Patricia Murphy covers national politics for The Daily Beast. Previously, she was the Capitol Hill bureau chief for Politics Daily and founder and editor of Citizen Jane Politics. Follow her on Twitter @1PatriciaMurphy.

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Democratic congressional aides have never felt more confident about their party’s chances in this year’s election.

That assessment is based on answers they’ve provided every month since October, when CQ Roll Call began its Capitol Insiders Survey, which polls staffers by email.

While the nation’s Democratic primary voters struggled over whether to choose Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, it was never a close call for the aides.

They have said consistently that Clinton was the best choice and expressed little worry about Sanders’ persistence.

“I don’t think he’s hurting her,” says Brendan Daly, a former spokesman for House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of California. “He’s very sincere and his people are as well. I believe he’ll bring his people along. It’s part of the process.”

That process started when Sanders endorsed Clinton on July 12, bringing to an end a tough primary fight.

The Democratic staffers’ sense of common purpose contrasts sharply with the divisions among Republican aides.

When CQ Roll Call asked in June who they’d vote for, only 42 percent said Donald Trump. Most said they’d vote for a third-party candidate or stay home. A handful said they’d vote for Clinton.

GOP angst over Trump is playing into Democrats’ confidence, which extends beyond the presidential race.

As it became clearer that the mogul would be the GOP’s nominee this spring, more and more Democrats said they believed their party would retake the Senate and make significant gains in the House.

Indeed, in the June survey, 9 in 10 Democratic aides were bullish about their chances of winning the Senate majority, where they need to pick up four seats if Clinton wins or five seats otherwise. In the House, where they need 30 seats to retake the majority, 8 in 10 predicted a Democratic wave.

The national polls gauging Clinton vs. Trump show a much tighter contest this November, revealing a schism, perhaps, between the Democratic establishment in Washington and voters.

Trust the aides, says Steve Elmendorf, a Washington lobbyist who was once House Democratic Leader Richard A. Gephardt’s chief of staff. “I think Hill staffers are smarter than the average pollster. The polls are a snapshot in time.”

Could the aides be too complacent? Some Republicans are holding out hope that they are.

“As much evidence as there is that Hillary is going to be the next president, and win comfortably, anyone who takes it for granted is not paying attention to anything,” says Sam Geduldig, a former aide to Republican Rep. John A. Boehner of Ohio who’s skeptical that Clinton has as easy a path as his Democratic colleagues predict.

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DNC Day One Highlights and A Look Ahead

By Nathan Gonzales, Thomas MnKinless, Cody Long

PHILADELPHIA – One day in, the Democrats are behaving remarkably like the Republicans in this basic sense: The dissidents have made way more noise than the establishment was prepared for, so the vibe is much less like a coronation than the wedding for an arranged marriage where one side won’t contain its buyers’ remorse.

But in plenty of other ways, the back-to-back national conventions are shaping as another study in contrasts, the organizational and stylistic contradictions saying plenty about the very different personalities and belief systems of the two dominant national political parties – their shared resistance to insurrections from the ideological fringes notwithstanding

[ Full Coverage of the Democratic National Convention ]

To be sure, the longstanding assumption the GOP will run its convention with businesslike, if not Teutonic, precision was contradicted from the opening moments in Cleveland last week, when the forces of opposition to Donald Trump launched their headline-grabbing surprise attack .

And the equally tried and true cliché about Democratic conventions, that disorganization and discontent are essentially required ingredients, was borne out even before the formal opening gavel fell (22 minutes late) when party Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz was forced to step down in leaked email disgrace.

While Monday proved that neither camp could claim a 2016 monopoly on the “party in disarray” label, here are six instructive disparities between the conventions that should not be overlooked:

The Republicans had 2,472 delegates at their convention, a small enough number that they could all be seated on the floor of the Quicken Loans Arena and a reflection of the party’s elitist views about apportioning power in the nominating contests and favoring small states over big ones. (Wyoming had almost half as many seats as Ohio.)

The Democratic roster is essentially twice as big at 4,764, so the delegations fill not only the literal “floor” of the Wells Fargo Center but the lower bowl of the hockey and basketball arena as well – emblematic of the “Big Tent” aspirations of the party as well as its controversial practice (which will be diluted for 2020) of supplementing the delegates allocated in the primaries and caucuses with 714 elected officials and party powers known as super delegates.

Neither party publishes a statistical profile of its convention goers, but the basics are unmistakable. The GOP delegates are overwhelmingly white, disproportionately male and skew older and much more Christian than the overall population – a reality obscured, for those watching at home, by the efforts the party made to direct publicity spotlights toward the relatively few black, disabled, Latino, young, Muslim or LGBTQ people in the room.

The Democrats fill the arena and promote at the podium a collection of humanity that party officials like to describe as “looking like America,” but which seems to exaggerate even the dramatic shifts toward multiculturalism within the population. In the first three hours, with organizers clearly trying hard to stress unity in the face of the lingering Bernie Sanders insurrection, there were a dozen white speakers, nine African Americans, six Hispanics, a 93-year-old, a 17-year-old and several open gays and lesbians– more diversity than the GOP mustered on stage all last week -- and women outnumbered men by three to two.

Both conventions were in the premier cities in crucial general election swing states (Ohio has 18 electoral votes, Pennsylvania 20). That’s about where the staging similarities end. Cleveland’s sports arena and nearby convention center are in the heart of a resurgent and gleaming downtown. So the delegates, media and other GOP convention-goers could have been an intimate part of the center city fabric last week had not so many workday denizens decided to stay away rather than face the ultimately over-hyped protester forces while navigating a maze of high metal mesh fencing.

Philadelphia’s arena is at the outer edge of the city, in the middle of a vast 23,000-space parking lost it shared with separate baseball and football stadiums. The sports complex is six miles away, through the heart of South Philadelphia, from the undeniably historic but rough-at-the-edges downtown where the myriad caucuses, briefings, parties and conferences are taking place alongside the late summer work days.

Republicans are a right-to-work party, of course, and the overwhelmingly complex logistics involved in staging and executing the convention were carried out mainly by the low-cost bidders, who brought a we-can-fix-that spirit to a steady stream of failed tasks or unfinished business. The Democrats are a pro-union party, and organized labor’s work-to-the-rule sway was just as omnipresent. TV and radio crews were warned, for starters, not to touch any wire or cable longer than 30 feet without a union guy on the job. A member of the electrical union could charge $350 to drill a half-inch hole in some plywood. No printed placard could enter the hall absent the union “bug” stamp.

The GOP made no concerted efforts to encourage recycling. The Democrats had glass-or-metal, compostable and true trash bins arranged in triplicate all over the place.

The Republicans provided no close captioning under their jumbotrons in the hall. The Democrats got theirs going, albeit several hours late.

The Republicans left the rest rooms inside The Q just the way they were. The Democrats took down the men’s and women’s icons from the bathrooms near the Wells Fargo Center’s Section 123 and put up blue placards proclaiming each an “All Gender Restroom.” The signs quickly became a favorite stop for the selfie stick crowd.

No party’s fault. Cleveland was sunny and moderately hot and humid for four straight days. Philadelphia has so far toggled between tropically sweltering and so stormy that the giant press tents were party evacuated in a thunderstorm downpour Monday evening.

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PHILADELPHIA — When you want to put on a memorable show, you cast a superstar to get it started. Is anyone surprised to see a Michelle Obama speech scheduled for Monday, Day One of the Democratic National Convention?

Without even attending the convention the Republicans just wrapped up in Cleveland, the first lady found a way to dominate in the most visible way possible; her words anchored the prime time speech of Melania Trump. Like many women of all political persuasions I’ve interviewed through two terms of President Barack Obama and his family in the White House, the wife of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump found inspiration and something relatable in Michelle Obama.

Ask those who have viewed the video of the first lady’s “carpool karaoke” on an appearance on “The Late Late Show with James Corden,” having fun with Corden and Missy Elliott and delivering a serious message about her Let Girls Learn initiative to educate girls around the globe.

[ Melania and Michelle: Sisters in the American Dream ]

Hillary Clinton has said she is not as gifted a campaigner as her husband, Bill Clinton, or President Obama. She could have added Michelle Obama to that list. She has the touch; she can connect. On Monday, she will use that gift to support the candidate who was her husband’s rival in 2008. Barack Obama’s legacy will depend on Hillary Clinton’s success in November.

How will she best be used as a surrogate after this week? Appearing side by side is tricky, given some suggestions that Michelle Obama should consider a run of her own, following the Clinton playbook. She could appear before the African-American female voters Clinton needs to turn out or the young voters she has had trouble attracting. With her crossover appeal, where Michelle Obama goes hardly matters. That she will be visible is essential.

On Monday, she will also be called on to be peacemaker, with dissent in the Democratic Party brewing. Also scheduled to speak is Bernie Sanders, who gave Clinton a run for her money in the primaries. He has endorsed Clinton and really does not want a Donald Trump presidency. That, he’s made clear.

But Sanders and his supporters are none too happy about leaked Democratic National Committee emails that show staffers disparaging him and his campaign. DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz is stepping down after the convention. Sanders would also have preferred to see someone other than Tim Kaine in the VP spot.

[ Echoes of Michelle Obama in Melanie Trump's RNC Speech ]

So will anticipation of Michelle Obama blunt the fissures in any way, as viewers wonder if she will slip in a sly Melania joke, reprise a Stevie Wonder verse or emphasize her own work in the White House, from healthy eating programs to helping military families. And admit it, people will also be looking to see what she will be wearing, as she made a statement in 2012 with her highly praised speech and a Tracy Reese pink dress.

The country has gotten to know her, especially as she has shared personal and poignant parts of her life story at commencement speeches, several in front of first-generation graduates of historically black colleges and universities.

It is one of hard work that triumphs over adversity, reflected in her journey from a false caricature of an “angry black woman” through criticism from conservatives who thought she did too much to some feminists who thought she didn’t do enough and from some who believed that her proud and beautiful African-American “self” did not “fit.”

She has broken the mold and set a new standard, and, in the process, has become President Obama’s not-so-secret weapon. Will she do the same in what promises to be a bruising campaign for Hillary Clinton? All eyes and ears will be looking for that pivot, starting on Monday night in Philadelphia.

Roll Call columnist Mary C. Curtis has worked at The New York Times, The Baltimore Sun and The Charlotte Observer. Follow her on Twitter @mcurtisnc3 .

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The messages couldn't have been more different.

Republicans chanted "build the wall" several times last week during their party's presidential convention in Cleveland last week.

But Democrats chose to put on center stage people who would find themselves on opposite sides of that barrier. They took a much more personal approach to one of the most vexing issues before both parties: illegal immigration.

An 11-year-old girl brought the crowd to its feet Monday night after telling them Hillary Clinton would fight to save her family from separation.

“I don’t feel great every day,” Karla Ortiz told delegates at the Democratic National Convention's first night. “On most days I’m scared. I’m scared that at any moment my mom and my dad will be forced to leave and I wonder what if I come home and find it empty?”

Ortiz is a U.S. citizen, but her parents are undocumented and live under the constant fear of being deported.

[The Latest from the Democratic National Convention ]

Ortiz, joined by her mother Francisca, praised Clinton for her promise to help the family from being separated under a myriad of immigration initiatives, including programs that can protect children but not their parents.

[Children of Undocumented Parents Fight for Family ]

At the Republican convention delegates boisterously cheered at a proposal by Republican nominee Donald Trump to build a wall along the entire Mexican border to keep people from coming to the U.S. illegally.

When Trump took the stage after accepting his party's nomination, he called immigration a problem that was easily solvable.

[Trump Pledges to Make America Safe ]

"We are going to build a great border wall to stop illegal immigration, to stop the gangs and the violence and the drugs from pouring into our communities," he said to wild applause. "Illegal border crossings will go down. They won't be happening. Peace will be restored."

An ad featuring Trump's promise to "build a wall" to stop illegal immigration aired Monday night at the convention in Philadelphia. Democrats had a response: "We're better than this."

In June, the Supreme Court deadlocked over a challenge to Obama's immigration plan that would have prevented deportation for millions of immigrants.

Obama's executive action would have allowed unauthorized immigrants who are parents of U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents to stay in the country legally if they met certain residency requirements.

Another part of the plan would have expanded an earlier program, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA, which protected undocumented immigrants from deportation if they first came to the U.S. under the age of 16.

Clinton, who awaits her coronation as the Democratic presidential nominee on Thursday, called the ruling “unacceptable.”

Both Democrats and Republicans have not mentioned during their conventions that more undocumented immigrants have been deported since President Barack Obama took office than during the administrations of President George W. Bush and former President Bill Clinton.

Republicans focused on immigration by mostly attacking Obama for what they saw were lenient policies.

Democrats, in turn, focused in part on policies that helped people stay in the United States.

Astrid Silva has benefited from the DREAM Act, a program that enables a path to residency for undocumented immigrants who came to the United States at a young age.

Silva told delegates of climbing into a raft when she was four years old to cross a river to meet her father in the U.S.

She said her family hardly went anywhere for fear someone would discover they were undocumented immigrants.

“When Donald Trump talks about deporting 11 million people, he’s talking about ripping families apart,” Silva said. “Hillary Clinton understands that this is not who we are as a country.”

Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., called Trump’s proposals for mass deportations and a wall along the entire border with Mexico “a sick, hateful fantasy.”

“Immigrants contribute to communities and make America a great nation,” Gutierrez said. “Immigrants die defending our democracy and you know what they give our founding principles meaning in our time.”

Contact Rahman at or follow her on Twitter at @remawriter

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Comedian Sarah Silverman raised some eyebrows Monday night at the Democratic convention when she sought to put some boisterous supporters of Bernie Sanders in their place.

Appearing at the podium with Sen. Al Franken, the Sanders campaigner had just finished a prime-time call for party unity when a Sanders' supporters registered their displeasure.

"To the 'Bernie or Bust' people, you are being ridiculous," she said.

"Bernie's already succeeded in so many ways," she said. "He proved that citizens united is not in fact a necessary evil."

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You're with her but not actually with her in Philadelphia? Still writing constituent letters while your boss is at the convention? Good news for you, you’re not alone.

Here is the HOH calendar of Democratic convention fun this week in D.C..

Union Pub: $5 Hill Yes! Crush; $3 Dem Jell-O shot; $7 Jell-O Shot/Crush Combo.

201 Bar: New Liberty whiskeys available with titles: "Madam President," "First Dude" and "Feel the Bern."

Mission: $4 Tecate and $7 Madame president margaritas (blue).

Hawthorne: $4 Coronas , $7 Blue State Smash.

Union Pub: $1 Dem Jell-O shots during acceptance speech.

Mission: $6 El Jimador shots during acceptance speech.

Hawthorne: $4 Coronas , $7 Blue State Smash.

Anything to add? Email

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With the RNC done in Cleveland and the Trump/Pence ticket secured, Roll Call Chief Content Officer David Ellis provides insight to the coming week's events in Philadelphia.

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Gay rights — and the Republican Party's complicated relationship with the issue — is likely play a prominent role at this week's Democratic National Convention, with Donald Trump's stated embrace of the "LGBTQ community" still lingering in the air.

"I expect Democratic leaders to directly denounce his veiled attempt to suggest he's anything but an enemy of LGBT rights," said Eric Stern, the director of LGBT outreach for the Democratic National Committee during the 2004 presidential campaign. "It's firing people up, both people who are members of the community, and allies of the community. It's engaging us like never before."

Trump's comments during the closing night of the Republican National Convention, and the responding applause from the Cleveland audience, was considered a watershed moment for the GOP.

It was the first time a Republican presidential nominee has mentioned gay rights during a convention address, and it capped a series of GOP speakers who did the same in spite of a party platform that rejected many core principles of the LGBT movement.

[ 'Proud to be Gay' — A Different Message For The Republican Convention ]

But rather than disarm Democrats on the issue, as Fox news moderator Megyn Kelly suggested, Trump instead provided an opening for the party to present a more inclusive alternative, strategists said.

Democrats are expected to call attention to their historic support for gay marriage — the 2012 Democratic convention featured three openly gay members of Congress as speakers and a record number of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender delegates hailing from all 50 states.

The party is also expected to call for more action on LGBT issues, including the passage of a civil rights bill and a rejection of laws that allow discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation.

David Mixner, a longtime Democratic strategist and an LGBT rights advocate who has worked on several presidential campaigns, acknowledged the historic nature of Trump's comments, but said it would take more than that to match the Democrats' record on gay rights.

"Look, we’re not fools," he said. "We know who's our friend and who's not. This has been one of the toughest years we have had with the religious freedom laws and outright unbelievable expression of homophobia by the Trump campaign."

[ Human Rights Campaign: Trump Would be Disaster for LGBT Americans ]

The GOP platform adopted during last week's convention preserved opposition to gay marriage and to bathroom choice for transgender people. It also adopted language considered an admonishment to gay parents, saying kids raised by a mother and father tend to be “physically and emotionally healthier.”

Trump's running mate Mike Pence is a conservative evangelical who as Indiana's governor opposed gay marriage and signed a law — later revised — that allowed business owners to refuse service to gay customers.

"Just saying the word gay or mentioning our existence doesn't erase the reality of the political histories of many of the speakers — or their attempts to undermine equality at every turn," said Jay Brown, communications director of the Human Rights Campaign, a leading LGBT-advocacy group.

Contact Akin at and follow her on Twitter at @stephanieakin .

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Even though Sen. Bernie Sanders is supporting Hillary Clinton after the Democratic National Committee email scandal , Donald Trump is using it as a way to try to pry supporters way from Sanders.

Trump is fanning the flames of the DNC email scandal by saying Clinton rigged the system from the beginning and Sanders did not have a chance to win, a refrain among Sanders supporter that Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz had rigged the system: Crooked Hillary Clinton knew everything that her "servant" was doing at the DNC - they just got caught, that's all! They laughed at Bernie. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 25, 2016

Here we go again with another Clinton scandal, and e-mails yet (can you believe). Crooked Hillary knew the fix was in, B never had a chance! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 25, 2016

The State of Florida is so embarrassed by the antics of Crooked Hillary Clinton and Debbie Wasserman Schultz that they will vote for CHANGE! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 25, 2016

In a series of tweets, Trump has said Sanders has turned into a "pathetic figure" as a way to wedge Sanders supporters away from their candidate:

There is no longer a Bernie Sanders "political revolution." He is turning out to be a weak and somewhat pathetic figure,wants it all to end! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 24, 2016

Sorry folks, but Bernie Sanders is exhausted, just can't go on any longer. He is trying to dismiss the new e-mails and DNC disrespect. SAD! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 24, 2016

Even though Bernie Sanders has lost his energy and his strength, I don't believe that his supporters will let Crooked Hillary off the hook! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 24, 2016

If Bernie Sanders, after seeing the just released e-mails, continues to look exhausted and done, then his legacy will never be the same. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 25, 2016

But Sanders didn't take Trump's bait and he thinks neither will most of his supporters.

Sanders live tweeted some of his anger towards Trump during the Republican nominee speech before the Republican National Convention: What a hypocrite! If Trump wants to "fix" trade he can start by making his products in the US, not low-wage countries abroad. #RNCwithBernie — Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) July 22, 2016

Trump’s economic plan: same old, same old trickle-down economics. Pathetic. #RNCwithBernie — Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) July 22, 2016

Sanders also went on "This Week" on Sunday to unequivocally state that "Trump has got to be defeated." .@BernieSanders: "Most of my supporters understand Trump has got to be defeated" #ThisWeek — ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) July 24, 2016

"I think the vast majority of our supporters understand that in Donald Trump, and I say this not happily, somebody who lies all of the time. Somebody who wins his campaign by viscious attacks against his opponents," Sanders said.

"But I think most of my supporters think most of my supporters understand Trump has got to be defeated," Sanders said. "We need to elect as many progressive as possible and we need to continue the fight to create an agenda which works for working families and not just for wealthy campaign contributors."

The Vermont Democrat is going to speak to the Democratic National Convention Monday night to outline his progressive agenda and is expected to reaffirm his support for Clinton.

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PHILADELPHIA — Texas Democrats did a victory lap Monday at their delegation’s “Texadelphia” kickoff event for the Democratic National Convention, celebrating a recent court victory that found the Lone Star State’s voter identification law discriminatory while paying tribute to their own political legacy.

“He wanted you, all of you, to vote,” said Lynda Johnson Robb, the oldest daughter of President Lyndon Baines Johnson and a former first lady of Virginia. (She is married to former Gov. and Sen. Chuck Robb.)

Her presence here at a time when her famously hard-charging father is being lionized with the play and movie version of “All the Way” — about his efforts to pass the Voting Rights Act — lent the event an iconic air usually absent from the typical rah-rah convention delegate events.

[ Complete Coverage of the Democratic National Convention as it Happens ]

Topic A at the event was the July 20 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit that Texas’ voter identification law discriminated against Hispanics and blacks. The court sent the case back to the district court to come up with a remedy.

The court did not strike down the statute entirely, and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, has vowed to fight for the law.

But the mood among Texas Democrats, here at the city’s venerable Bookbinders Restaurant and Olde Bar, was ebullient.

“As many of you know, last week we had a big victory,” said Matt Angle, head of the Texas Justice and Education Fund, which helped spearhead the challenge. The law required photo identification to vote, among other requirements Democrats and minority rights groups said were designed to prevent them from participating at the polls.

[ Five Notes for Watching 'All the Way' ]

Robb was on hand, amid requests for selfies and introductions to delegates, to present Texas Democratic Reps. Eddie Bernice Johnson and Gene Green with the LBJ Lone Star Legacy Award, which Angle’s group awards. (Angle is also the founder of the Lone Star Project, a Democratic policy group, and is a longtime Texas political hand with close ties to former Rep. Martin Frost.)

“I would not be standing here today if Lyndon Johnson had not been president,” Johnson said, referring to passage of the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act. “From Lyndon Johnson’s work, I have been able to see the first African-American president. From Lyndon Johnson’s work, we will be able to see the first woman president, Hillary Clinton.”

Green desribed LBJ as “the ultimate legislator.”

“To this day, Eddie B. and I fight every day for those laws,” Green said, referring not just to the Voting Rights Act but also to other Great Society legacy programs such Medicare and Medicaid.

Green expressed optimism that the Democrats’ court victory would hold. After all, he said, it was handed down by the Fifth Circuit, among the most, if not the most, conservative appeals courts.

“It was amazing,” that the decision came from there, he said.

As the delegates made their way into the heat, weather not unfamiliar to those from places like Houston, Dallas and other sweaty climes this time of year, Robb reminded them that Texans have a special bond.

“I’m a former first lady of Virginia, but Texas …,” she said, and paused for dramatic effect, “Is a state of mind.”

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Heard on the Hill

Arizona's Kyrsten Sinema Spins Through Her Day

By Simone Pathé

Nevada state Sen. Ruben Kihuen is the sole House Democratic recruit the Democratic National Convention Committee has touted as a major speaker in Philadelphia this week.

The selection of a Hispanic state legislator underscores Democrats’ desire to showcase diversity on stage this week, while also promoting a candidate who has a good opportunity to flip a red seat blue.

Democrats must net 30 seats to win control of the House and four to win control of the Senate (if Hillary Clinton wins the presidency). The party has touted the strength and diversity of its recruits this cycle, but many of its competitive recruits are steering clear of the convention.

Kihuen is an establishment favorite — he was Harry Reid’s pick — and defeated both an EMILY's List-backed candidate and Bernie Sanders-backed candidate in the June primary.

“I look forward to sharing my experiences as an immigrant, the values my hard-working parents instilled in me, and my vision for a more inclusive America,” Kihuen said in a statement after the Democratic National Convention Committee announced him as a speaker late last week.

Kihuen is running in Nevada’s 4th District , currently held by GOP Rep. Cresent Hardy, the second most vulnerable member of the House .

The freshman Republican unseated a Democrat by less than 3 points in a low turnout year, and President Barack Obama carried the district comfortably in 2012. In this district that’s 29 percent Hispanic, Donald Trump and his comments about Hispanics may also be a liability down-ticket .

All of that makes for unfavorable environment for an incumbent Republican who’s seen as too conservative for the district.

Hardy lead Kihuen with cash on hand at the end of the second quarter, but now that his primary is over, Democrats are likely to invest more heavily in Kihuen and make sure he has the resources to be competitive.

[ Democrats Aim to Reduce 30-Seat House Deficit with Help from Trump ]

Nevada’s 4th District is among the party’s top pick-up opportunities in what they hope is an expanded battle field. With Trump at the top of the ticket, Democrats have recruited candidates in even red seats to take advantage of a wave.

But Kihuen is the only one of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s 38 Red to Blue candidates who, as of now, is scheduled to have a visible place on stage this week.

Other candidates will appear on stage — but via video — with DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Luján on Tuesday night.

[ The Seats Democrats Must Win to Retake House ]

Other notable candidates expected to attend the convention include former Orlando Police Chief Val Demings, who’s running in Florida’s 10th District. The Democratic establishment has rallied behind Demings in her August primary. The June shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando has underscored her experience as an African American with law enforcement experience , who’s also been an outspoken advocate for gun safety reform.

California’s Nanette Barragan, another EMILY’s List candidate, is running in the open 44th District, and is also expected to attend.

New York Democrat Tom Suozzi, who’s running to succeed Rep. Steve Israel, will be in Philadelphia. He won a competitive primary last month, and is trying to keep Israel’s Long Island district in Democratic hands. The Rothenberg & Gonzales Report/Roll Call rates his race Tilts Democrat .

Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, a former Republican who spoke at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, will be at this convention, too. He’s running for the state’s 13th District, which became much more Democratic in recent redistricting , and faces GOP Rep. David Jolly , one of this year’s most vulnerable incumbents .

Meanwhile, candidates like Colorado state Sen. Gail Schwartz and Indiana's Shelli Yoder , both Red to Blue candidates running in safe Republican districts, are steering clear.

At the Senate level, Illinois Rep. Tammy Duckworth will be speaking , likely on the same night Clinton accepts the nomination. She's running in a Leans Democratic race against GOP Sen. Mark Kirk.

New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan, who's challenging GOP Sen. Kelly Ayotte, will be in Philadelphia but she is not scheduled to speak on stage during the convention. Similarly, former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, who's challenging Sen. Rob Portman, is attending with his delegation but not speaking.

Pennsylvania Democrat Katie McGinty will be participating in an EMILY’s List event and holding media availabilities during the week. She’d be the first woman to represent the Keystone State in the Senate. California Attorney General Kamala Harris, who would be the second-ever African American woman elected to the Senate, will also be present during the convention.

[ Kamala Harris Aims to Make History in California, Again ]

Iowa Democrat Patty Judge, the former lieutenant governor, is waging an uphill battle against Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley. She'll be on hand this week. Judge’s star has risen as Democrats have sought to hit Republicans — and Grassley in particular — for blocking the nomination of the president’s choice to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court.

[ Obama Backs Patty Judge in Iowa Senate Race ]

But many recruits have said they are still determining their schedules, with the many choosing to remain in their districts to campaign.

Many more Republicans with competitive races mostly stayed far away from their party’s national convention in Cleveland last week. The exceptions were Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson , who addressed the convention during prime-time, and North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr , who met with his delegation but avoided the Quicken Loans Arena altogether.

[ This Vulnerable Senator Is Not Afraid of Donald Trump ]

The need to campaign in their districts during the summer recess is a reality for candidates on both sides of the aisle, but the degree to which incumbents and recruits are steering clear of their party conventions may also say something about the relatively unpopularity of each nominee and the desire among candidates to run their own races.

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Hillary Clinton's 'Law and Order' Problem

By Mary C. Curtis