Election 2022 is Breaking Records for All-Woman Gubernatorial Contests

Results from the August 2nd Primaries from CAWP

50th Years of CAWP

In all of American history prior to 2022, there have only been four woman vs. woman general election match-ups in gubernatorial races. This year, there are likely already five. In addition, there are now a record number of women gubernatorial nominees in election 2022, as well as a record number of gubernatorial nominees in each party.

Primary elections were held yesterday in Arizona, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, and Washington, and the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP), a unit of the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University, is tracking results for women candidates in these races. Full results are available on the Election Analysis page on the CAWP website. There are still a number of races featuring women candidates that remain too close to call, so this page will update as results are determined. Complete context about women in the 2022 elections, including candidate lists, summaries, and historical comparisons, is available via CAWP's Election Watch.

Among the most notable results for women:

  • Four (3D, 1R) women have already won major-party nominations for governor, with women leading in the outstanding contest for the Republican gubernatorial nomination in Arizona. With these nominations, there are now a record number of women gubernatorial nominees in election 2022, as well as a record number of gubernatorial nominees in each party.
    • In Arizona, Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D) won the Democratic nomination for governor. The Republican contest remains too close to call, but the top two vote-getters are women, making it very likely that the general election gubernatorial contest will be woman v. woman. This contest is currently rated as a toss-up by Cook Political Report.
    • In Kansas, incumbent Governor Laura Kelly (D) won the Democratic nomination to run for re-election in November. This general election contest is currently rated as a toss-up by Cook Political Report.
    • In Michigan, Tudor Dixon (R) won the Republican nomination to challenge incumbent Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D) in an all-woman general election contest currently rated as “Lean Democratic” by Cook Political Report. This marks the fourth woman v. woman gubernatorial general election contest already decided in election 2022; when the Arizona Republican gubernatorial primary results are determined, this number will almost certainly increase to five.
    • There are already 20 women gubernatorial nominees this year. The previous record of 16 was set in 2018. There are already 13 Democratic and 7 Republican nominees for governor this year. The previous records were 12 for Democrats, set in 2018, and 5 for Republicans, first set in 1996.
    • Prior to 2022, there were only four woman v. woman gubernatorial general election contests in U.S. history. After yesterday’s primaries, there are likely already five such races in the 2022 midterms.
  • Incumbent U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D) and Tiffany Smiley (R) were successful in Washington’s U.S. Senate primary and will advance to an all-woman general election contest currently rated as “Solid Democrat” by Cook Political Report. Washington is one of four states currently represented by two women in the U.S. Senate (MN, NH, NV, and WA).
  • 14 (10D, 4R) of 15 women U.S. House incumbents have already advanced to the general election in AZ, KS, MI, MO, and WA. Incumbent Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler (R) is in a contest still too close to call.
    • 11 (7D, 4R) women U.S. House incumbents who won August 2 primaries are strongly favored to win re-election. This includes incumbent Representative Haley Stevens (D), who defeated incumbent Representative Andy Levin (D) in a competitive primary created by reapportionment and redistricting in MI-11. Learn more about reapportionment and the 2022 elections at our Redistricting Effects on Women Congressional Incumbents fact sheet.
    • 3 (3D) women U.S. House incumbents who won August 2 primaries – Representatives Sharice Davids (KS-03), Kim Schrier (WA-08), and Elissa Slotkin (MI-07) – will compete in general election contests currently rated as Democratic toss ups by Cook Political Report.
  • 3 (2D, 1R) women U.S. House incumbents in August 2 primary states did not run for re-election to the U.S. House. Representatives Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ) and Brenda Lawrence (D-MI) are retiring while Representative Vicki Hartzler (R-MO) ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in Missouri. They are 3 of 14 women U.S. House incumbents not returning (as of August 3) to the U.S. House in 2023 due to retirement, running for other office, or primary defeat.
  • Of the non-incumbent women who have already won August 2 primaries, 3 (2D, 1R) women are in contests currently deemed competitive by Cook Political Report.
    • Amanda Adkins (R) won the Republican nomination to challenge incumbent U.S. Representative Sharice Davids (D) in an all-woman general election contest in KS-03 currently rated as a Democratic toss-up by Cook Political Report. Davids defeated Adkins by ten points in the 2020 U.S. House contest in KS-03, but the district has since shifted from Democratic-leaning (D+3) to Republican-leaning (R+3) due to redistricting.
    • Former State Senator Kirsten Engel (D) won the Democratic nomination in AZ-06, an open-seat contest currently rated as “Lean Republican” by Cook Political Report.
    • Hillary Scholten (D) was unopposed in the Democratic primary in MI-03. Due to incumbent Representative Peter Meijer’s (R) defeat in the Republican primary, Scholten will now run in an open-seat U.S. House contest against John Gibbs (R). This general election contest is currently rated as a Democratic toss-up by Cook Political Report. Scholten was the Democratic nominee in MI-03 in election 2020, when she was defeated by Meijer by six points. 

For more information, see the full analysis of how women fared in yesterday's contests on our Election Analysis page. Complete context about women in the 2022 elections can be found on CAWP's Election Watch.

Contact

Daniel De Simone: ddesimone@eagleton.rugters.edu; 760.703.0948