Research

Research

Unfinished Business: Women Running in 2018 and Beyond

by Kelly Dittmar
Center for American Women and Politics, Eagleton Institute of Politics, Rutgers University–New Brunswick, 2019

Gender disparities in American politics were not upended in a single cycle, but the 2018 election marked sites of progress as well as persistent hurdles for women candidates. Evaluating the 2018 election in the context of both past and present offers key insights into the gendered terrain that candidates will navigate in 2020 and beyond. In this report, CAWP combines its unmatched data with a review of the latest research on gender, candidacy, and representation to analyze an unprecedented year for women in American politics, identify sites for both destruction and durability of barriers to women, and offer a guide for gender and intersectional dynamics to watch for in election 2020.

Report
Research
Candidates and Campaigns
Congress
Statewide Executive
State Legislature

The Chisholm Effect: Black Women in American Politics 2018

By Kelly Dittmar, Ph.D.

This update from the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) and the Higher Heights Leadership Fund outlines the status of Black women in American politics at the start of 2018.

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

Gender and Elections: Shaping the Future of American Politics, 4th Edition

Eds. Susan J. Carroll, CAWP, Rutgers University and Richard L. Fox, Loyola Marymount University
Cambridge University Press, 2018 Fourth Edition, 319 pages 

The fourth edition of Gender and Elections highlights the most important developments for women as voters and candidates in the 2012 elections and providing a more long-term, in-depth analysis of the ways that gender has helped shape the contours and outcomes of electoral politics in the United States. Individual chapters demonstrate the importance of gender in understanding and interpreting presidential elections, voter participation and turnout, voting choices, congressional elections, the participation of African American women, the support of political parties and women's organizations, candidate communications with voters, and state elections. Earlier editions (First Edition 2006, Second Edition 2010, 3rd edition 2013) provide similar analysis for the 2004, 2008 and 2012 elections.

Book
Research
CAWP Scholar
Candidates and Campaigns
Political Parties
Women Voters and the Gender Gap
Women of Color in Politics
Federal Executive
Congress
Statewide Executive
State Legislature

Black Women in American Politics: 2017 Status Update

By Kelly Dittmar, Ph.D. 

This update highlights the key wins for women of color overall – and Black women in particular - in election 2016. The data demonstrate that, even with the gains Black women saw at some levels of office in 2016, there is more work to do to ensure that Black women’s representation in elected office reflects their presence in American society. 

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

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. 

Fact Sheet
Research
CAWP Scholar
A Closer Look
Candidates and Campaigns
Political Parties
State Legislature

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’s Decisions to Run for Office: A Relationally Embedded Model

by Kira Sanbonmatsu and Susan J. Carroll
Book chapter in The Political Psychology of Women in U.S. Politics, edited by Angela L. Bos and Monica C. Schneider (New York: Routledge, 2016)

This chapter presents an alternative approach to the standard ambition model of candidacy. The authors analyze state legislators’ decisions to seek elective office using the 2008 and 1981 CAWP Recruitment Studies. The analysis reveals that a traditional model of ambition, in which candidacy is self-initiated, offers a less adequate account of how women reach office than of how men do so. The authors argue for an alternative model of candidacy, one that seems to apply more often to women than to men, that recognizes running for office as an embedded decision.

Book Chapter
Research
CAWP Scholar
Candidate Recruitment
Candidates and Campaigns
State Legislature

#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.

Fact Sheet
Research
CAWP Scholar
A Closer Look
Candidates and Campaigns
State Legislature

Women in State Government: Still Too Few

by Susan J. Carroll
in The Book of the States, Vol. 48 edited by The Council of State Governments (Lexington, KY: The Council of State Governments, 2016).

In recent years the movement of women into state-level offices has slowed after several decades of gains. Efforts to actively recruit women for elective and appointive positions will be critical in determining what the future holds for women in state government.

Article
Research
CAWP Scholar
Candidate Recruitment
Impact of Women Public Officials
Women Political Appointees
Statewide Executive
State Legislature

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