Women of Color in Politics Research

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. 

Fact Sheet
Research
CAWP Scholar
A Closer Look
Candidate Recruitment
Candidates and Campaigns
Political Parties
Women of Color in Politics
Congress
Statewide Executive
State Legislature

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.

Fact Sheet
Research
CAWP Scholar
A Closer Look
Candidates and Campaigns
Women of Color in Politics
State Legislature

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.

Fact Sheet
Research
CAWP Scholar
A Closer Look
Candidates and Campaigns
Women of Color in Politics
Statewide Executive

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. 

Fact Sheet
Research
CAWP Scholar
A Closer Look
Political Parties
Women of Color in Politics
Congress

#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.  

Fact Sheet
Research
CAWP Scholar
A Closer Look
Candidates and Campaigns
Women of Color in Politics
Statewide Executive

#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.

Fact Sheet
Research
CAWP Scholar
A Closer Look
Candidates and Campaigns
Women of Color in Politics
Congress

#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.

Fact Sheet
Research
CAWP Scholar
A Closer Look
Candidates and Campaigns
Women of Color in Politics
Congress

Officeholding in the Fifty States: The Pathways Women of Color Take to Statewide Elective Executive Office

by Kira Sanbonmatsu
Book chapter in Distinct Identities: Minority Women in U.S. Politics, edited by Nadia E. Brown and Sarah Allen Gershon (New York: Routledge Press, 2016)

This chapter investigates the pathways that women of color have taken to statewide elective executive office. Though underrepresented, a sufficient number of minority women have reached statewide executive office to make possible an initial analysis. The traditional scholarly focus on either race alone or gender alone has often obscured the situation of women of color. Yet, previous scholarship has shown that minority women’s access to office and pathways into office often differ from their male and White female counterparts. The chapter shows the gains of women of color, identifies patterns in their pathways to office, and explores the barriers that remain.

Book Chapter
Research
CAWP Scholar
Candidate Recruitment
Candidates and Campaigns
Women of Color in Politics
Statewide Executive

Voices. Votes. Leadership. The Status of Black Women in American Politics 2015

By the Center for American Women and Politics for Higher Heights Leadership Fund, 2015
Authored by Kelly Dittmar, Ph.D, Assistant Research Professor, Center for American Women and Politics, Rutgers University

This comprehensive report provides a historical outline of Black women’s struggle for political representation. It discusses the current landscape of political leadership for Black women across the country and across levels of office, their growing political influence, and the outlook for Black women's participation in the 2016 elections. It demonstrates the need for greater engagement, recruitment, and inclusion of Black women in politics and government.

Report
Research
Women of Color in Politics
Congress
Statewide Executive
State Legislature
Local

Why Not a Woman of Color?: The Candidacies of US Women of Color for Statewide Executive Office

by Kira Sanbonmatsu
Oxford University Press (September 2015) 

This review essay focuses on the intersection of gender and race in statewide executive officeholding. The author argues that scholarly neglect of this topic risks naturalizing the dearth of women of color in statewide executive positions, sending the message that it is understandable that women lack access to those offices and/or that such offices aren’t realistically obtainable. Using data from the Center for American Women and Politics, the author examines the status of women of color in statewide offices and state and party patterns in their presence as candidates and officeholders. Directions for future research are suggested. 

Article
Research
CAWP Scholar
Candidate Recruitment
Candidates and Campaigns
Women of Color in Politics
Statewide Executive

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