Women of Color in Politics Research

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

Representation Matters: Women in the U.S. Congress

by Kelly Dittmar, Kira Sanbonmatsu, Susan J. Carroll, Debbie Walsh, and Catherine Wineinger
Center for American Women and Politics, Eagleton Institute of Politics, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, 2017, 56 pages.

This CAWP report takes stock of the experiences, perspectives, approaches, and influence of women in the U.S. Congress. Drawing upon the CAWP Study of Women in the 114th Congress, entailing original interviews with 83 of the 108 women who served as Senators, Representatives, and Delegates in the 114th Congress (2015-2016), it shows that women members on both sides of the aisle very much believe that their presence and their voices matter. The interviews provide considerable evidence of women's achievements despite the overall environment of gridlock and party polarization in which the women in Congress operate.

Report
Research
CAWP Scholar
Political Parties
Impact of Women Public Officials
Women of Color in Politics
Congress

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

Pages