Political Parties

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 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

Gender and Elections: Shaping the Future of American Politics, 3rd Edition

Eds. Susan J. Carroll, CAWP, Rutgers University and Richard L. Fox, Union College, New York
Cambridge University Press, 2013 Third Edition, 287 pages 

The third 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, presidential and vice-presidential candidacies, voter participation and turnout, voting choices, congressional elections, the political involvement of Latinas, 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) provide similar analysis for the 2004 and 2008 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

Women’s Election to Office in the Fifty States: Opportunities and Challenges

by Kira Sanbonmatsu
Book chapter in Gender and Elections: Shaping the Future of American Politics,
Eds. Susan J. Carroll, CAWP, Rutgers University and Richard L. Fox, Union College, New York
Cambridge University Press, 2013 Third Edition, pp. 265-287.

Discussion of the barriers and opportunities women face in seeking state legislative and statewide executive office and the differences across states in women's officeholding. Party is a key factor in understanding women's candidacies and women's representation. 

Book Chapter
Research
CAWP Scholar
Candidate Recruitment
Candidates and Campaigns
Political Parties
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

Life's A Party: Do Political Parties Help or Hinder Women?

by Kira Sanbonmatsu
Harvard International Review, 2010

Sanbonmatsu evaluates the role of political parties in electing women to office. She argues that the history of U.S. parties indicates that women’s organizations and movements, women leaders, and women voters are the keys to making political parties a help rather than a hindrance to women’s representation.

Article
Research
CAWP Scholar
Candidate Recruitment
Candidates and Campaigns
Political Parties

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 Backlash in American Politics?

by Kira Sanbonmatsu
Politics and Gender (September 2006) 

The author introduces the idea of a backlash against women's representation, proposes several preliminary hypotheses about a backlash, and discusses ways of testing them.

Article
Research
CAWP Scholar
Candidates and Campaigns
Political Parties
State Legislature

Do Parties Know that ‘Women Win’? Party Leader Beliefs about Women’s Electoral Chances

by Kira Sanbonmatsu
Politics & Gender 2006 (December)

In an analysis of state legislative election results, the author finds few gender differences in candidates' vote share and success rates—two widely used measures of the status of women candidates. Yet many party leaders report that one gender has an electoral advantage. These party leader perceptions are related to the objective measures of women's electoral success to some extent. However, most analyses reveal a gap between elite perceptions and objective measures of women's status as candidates. This disjuncture suggests that scholars may have overestimated the extent of party leader and voter support for women. 

Article
Research
CAWP Scholar
Candidates and Campaigns
Political Parties

Where Women Run: Gender and Party in the American States

by Kira Sanbonmatsu 
University of Michigan Press, 2006, 264 pages

Drawing on surveys and case studies of party leaders and legislators in six states, the author analyzes the links between parties and representation, exposing the mechanism by which parties’ informal recruitment practices shape who runs – or doesn’t run – for political office in the United States. 

Book
Research
CAWP Scholar
Candidate Recruitment
Candidates and Campaigns
Political Parties

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