The director of West Virginia University’s Center for Women’s and Gender Studies says Hillary Clinton’s new status as the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee is a great achievement and an important landmark for women as it sends a strong and clear message about women’s capacity for leadership.

However, Jennifer Orlikoff is quick to point out that Clinton has earned the nomination on her own merits. “It’s based on her accomplishments, her long and extensive experience in government, and her qualities as a strong leader,” Orlikoff said. Adding that she is also a woman is “an added bonus for what it represents for women around the world.” Jennifer Orlikoff can be reached at 304.293.2063 or

As the campaign moves into a new phase, Scott Crichlow, chair of the WVU Department of Political Science, believes the Democratic party will now focus on uniting to defeat the presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. “While Senator Bernie Sanders has stated that he will keep moving his campaign forward, he is slashing the size of his operation,” Crichlow said.

Scott Crichlow can be reached at 304.293.3198 or by email at He predicts Democrats will see a slight bump in the polls. “Since Secretary Clinton is already leading in the polls, if the economic and foreign policy situations remain stable, it’s likely that her lead may grow, and that she will enter the Fall as the favorite to be the next president of the United States,” Crichlow said.

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