State Legislatures

Facts

Women in State Legislatures 2017

State by state listing and ranking of numbers and percentages of women in state legislative office.


Women in State Legislative Leadership 2017

Listing of women in leadership positions in state senates and state houses and ranking of percentage of women holding leadership postions by state.


Women in State Legislatures 1975-2016

State by state listing of numbers and percentages of women elected to state legislatures for 1975 through 2014.


Fact Sheet Archive on Women in State Legislatures by Year (1975-2016)

Women Candidates and Winners in State Legislative Races - Historical Summary

Year-by-Year Candidates and Election Results (1996-2016)

Research

Women in State Government: Historical Patterns, Recent Trends, Future Prospects

by Susan J. Carroll 
Chapter in The Book of the States, edited by The Council of State Governments, 2013

The movement of women into state-level offices has slowed in recent years after several decades of gains, and following the 2012 elections, the numbers of women in both state legislative and executive branch offices increased only slightly. Efforts to actively recruit women for elected and appointed positions will be critical in determining what the future holds for women in state government.

Book Chapter
Research
CAWP Scholar
Statewide Executive
State Legislature

Preparedness Meets Opportunity: Women's Increased Representation in the New Jersey Legislature

by Susan Carroll and Kelly Dittmar
Center for American Women and Politics, Eagleton Institute of Politics, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey 
July 2012, 40 pages

This paper examines the factors that account for the rapid rise in the numbers of women legislators in New Jersey, focusing primarily on the time period from 2004 through 2011. Central to the analysis is the question of what it would take to bring about enduring change in a political system characterized by a strong, male-dominated party system like that found in New Jersey.

Report
New Jersey
Research
CAWP Scholar
Candidate Recruitment
Political Parties
State Legislature

Women’s Pathways to America’s State Legislatures

by Kira Sanbonmatsu
Scholars Strategy Network Key Findings

Analysis of results from an unprecedented nationwide survey of state legislators conducted in 2008 by the Center for American Women and Politics at the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University.

Article
Research
CAWP Scholar
Candidate Recruitment
State Legislature

Women in State Government: Past, Present, Future

by Susan J. Carroll
Chapter in The Book of States, edited by the Council of State Governments, 2011

In recent years, the movement of women into state-level offices has slowed following several decades of gains. Following the 2010 elections, the number of women in both state legislative and statewide elective office declined. Efforts to actively recruit women for elective and appointive positions will be critical in determining what the future holds for women in state government.

Book Chapter
Research
CAWP Scholar
Statewide Executive
State Legislature

Can More Women Run? Reevaluating Women’s Election to the State Legislatures

by Susan J. Carroll and Kira Sanbonmatsu
Paper presented at the 2010 American Political Science Association annual meeting

Do men and women take similar or different paths to public office? This paper examines the occupational and educational backgrounds, family situations, and prior political experiences of women state legislators and their male counterparts. 

Conference Paper
Research
CAWP Scholar
Candidate Recruitment
Candidates and Campaigns
State Legislature

Poised to Run: Women's Pathways to the State Legislatures

by Kira Sanbonmatsu, Susan J. Carroll, and Debbie Walsh
Center for American Women and Politics, Eagleton Institute of Politics, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, 2009, 31 pages

Poised to Run presents the initial findings of a 2008 CAWP study that asked women and men in state legislatures about their routes to elective office.

Report
Research
CAWP Scholar
Candidate Recruitment
Candidates and Campaigns
State Legislature

Gender and Elections: Shaping the Future of American Politics, 2nd Edition

Eds. Susan J. Carroll, CAWP, Rutgers University and Richard L. Fox, Union College, New York
Cambridge University Press, 2009 Second Edition, 314 pages 

The 2nd edition of this textbook describes the role of gender in the American electoral process through the 2008 elections. Tailored for courses on women and politics, elections, and gender politics, it strikes a balance between highlighting the most important developments for women as voters and candidates in the 2008 elections and providing a deeper analysis of the ways that gender has helped shape electoral politics in the United States.  Individual chapters demonstrate the importance of gender in understanding presidential elections, voter participation and turnout, voting choices, the participation of African American women, congressional elections, the support of political parties and women's organizations, candidate communications with voters, and state elections. This updated volume also includes new chapters that analyze the roles of Latinas in U.S. politics and chronicle the candidacies of Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin.

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

Gender and Election to the State Legislatures: Then and Now

by Susan J. Carroll and Kira Sanbonmatsu
Paper presented at the Ninth Annual State Politics and Policy Conference, 2009

Carroll and Sanbonmatsu compare the background characteristics and experiences of women and men state legislators over time using data from the 2008 and 1981 CAWP Recruitment Studies. 

Conference Paper
Research
CAWP Scholar
Candidate Recruitment
Candidates and Campaigns
State Legislature

Gender and the Decision to Run for the State Legislature

by Susan J. Carroll and Kira Sanbonmatsu
Paper presented at the 2009 Midwest Political Science Association annual meeting

Carroll and Sanbonmatsu find important gender differences in the initial decision to seek state legislative office. They find that women are more likely than men to seek office because they were encouraged to run and that family and organizational support play a larger role in women’s candidacy decisions than in men’s. 

Conference Paper
Research
CAWP Scholar
Candidate Recruitment
Candidates and Campaigns
State Legislature

CAWP Recruitment Studies Datasets

The 2008 Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) Recruitment Studies are studies of United States state legislators' and mayors' pathways to office that were conducted by the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) at the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University. Data about state legislators and mayors of big cities were gathered through survey instruments that consisted primarily of questions concerning the decision to seek office, previous political experience, and personal background. The studies, which were conducted by mail, web, and phone, were designed to replicate a 1981 CAWP study about gender and pathways to elective office. All women serving in the legislatures of the 50 states were surveyed, along with a random sample of men state legislators; men were randomly selected and sampled in proportion to the number of women serving in each chamber and state. All women mayors of cities with a population of 30,000 and above serving in 2008 were surveyed, along with a random sample of men mayors. Demographic variables include age, education, race, and marital status.

File
Research
CAWP Scholar
Candidate Recruitment
State Legislature
Local

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