A Closer Look

Women Candidates in Election 2018: One Year from Election Day

by Kelly Dittmar, Ph.D.

Has there been a “surge” of women running for office after election 2016? With one year until the 2018 elections, we took a look at the numbers of women candidates to assess the degree to which media narratives about, and anecdotal evidence of, women’s heightened political engagement have translated into bids for office. In comparing the numbers of women running this cycle with the number at this point in previous cycles, we find that there are more women running for office in 2018, but that the increases in candidacies vary by level of office. 

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Women Running in 2017: Assessing NJ and VA State Legislative Elections

by Kelly Dittmar, Ph.D.

In our post-primary analysis, we find evidence that more Democratic women are running in 2017 state legislative races than in recent years, but many of them will have to defeat strong incumbents to win. This is particularly true in Virginia, a state where Republicans hold both legislative chambers. In New Jersey, where Democrats control the state legislature, there are fewer opportunities for Democratic challengers, and thus a less significant increase in the number of women nominees in 2017. 

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Candidates Matter: Gender Differences in Election 2016

by Kelly Dittmar, Ph.D.

We looked at gender and party differences in candidate numbers and success in election 2016 to better understand why women made so little progress in representation. Our data demonstrates, consistent with research to date, that there appears to be no consistent gender disparity in candidate win rates; the real gender disparities exist in the proportions of women and men running at each phase of the electoral process. These conclusions are consistent across party, though the dearth of women candidates is particularly acute in the Republican party. 

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Candidate Recruitment
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Women in State Legislatures 2017

by Kelly Dittmar, Ph.D.

In 2017, 1832 women (1107D, 703R, 4I, 4Prg, 1WFP, 13NP) hold seats in state legislatures, comprising 24.8% of the 7383 members; 442 women (253D, 175R, 1I, 13NP) (22.4%) serve in state senates and 1390 women (854D, 528R, 3I, 4Prg, 1WFP) (25.7%) serve in state houses.

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Women in Statewide Elected Executive Office 2017

by Kelly Dittmar, Ph.D.

In 2017, 75 (32D, 42R, 1NP) women serve in statewide elected executive offices, comprising 24% of the 312 positions elected nationwide. This is the same as the total number of women who served in statewide elected executive office at the end of 2016. The current proportion of women in statewide elected executive office is below the previous high of 28.5%, set in 2000. Women currently serve in statewide elected executive offices in 36 states.

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Women in the 115th Congress

by Kelly Dittmar, Ph.D.

In 2017, 104 (78D, 26R) women hold seats in the U.S. Congress, comprising 19.4% of the 535 members; 21 (16D, 5R) women (21%) serve in the U.S. Senate and 83 (62D, 21R) women (19.1%) serve in the U.S. House of Representatives. 

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#WomenRun2016: Statewide Elected Executive Office Outlook

by Kelly Dittmar, Ph.D.

There are 312 statewide elected executive offices nationwide. Not all of these offices are up for election in 2016. This post reviews women’s presence among the candidates competing for the positions being contested this year.  

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#WomenRun2016: State Legislative Outlook

by Kelly Dittmar, Ph.D.

In this post, we take a first look at women running for state legislative seats in 2016. The detail and predictability of our data is limited at this level due to the high number of candidates and races, but our outlook shows that we enter Election Day with a record-level number of female state legislative nominees, with enough poised to win that we expect an increase in women’s state legislative representation in 2017.

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#WomenRun2016: U.S. House Outlook

by Kelly Dittmar, Ph.D.

What will the U.S. House of Representatives look like in 2017? Combining CAWP data with race ratings from the Cook Political Report reveals that women may well reach a new high in numerical representation in the 115th House, but that outcome relies upon favorable breaks in the most competitive races. Moreover, the most positive outcomes in 2016 are likely to come for Democratic women candidates, who are best situated to take new seats, while Republican women are likely to see a net loss in their ranks.

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#WomenRun2016: U.S. Senate Outlook

by Kelly Dittmar, Ph.D.

While this year saw a record number of women filing for Senate races, November’s ballots won’t offer a record number of women nominees. Still, depending on how the most competitive races of the cycle break on November 8th, we may see a net increase in the number of women serving in the U.S. Senate in January 2017.

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