When Geraldine Ferraro joined Walter Mondale's ticket in 1984, Ronald Reagan got a boost from women voters who may have felt threatened by Ferraro's personal and professional success. Nearly 25 years later, the effect of Sarah Palin joining John McCain contrasts sharply with Ferraro's fortunes, and prompts Newsweek to take a look at feminism and sexism today.
Since women's suffrage, pollsters and politicians have had trouble getting a bead on the female vote—probably because there is no such thing: Women vote as individuals. But the surge of support for Palin has seen many women, both Democrat and Republican, shelve their political and ideological beliefs in favor of throwing themselves behind a woman. Ferraro is skeptical the momentum will hold, and predicts a reversal: "People never vote for vice president."