Research and Scholarship

CAWP research and research by CAWP scholars that addresses emerging questions about American women's political participation. 

  • 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
    Gender and Race/Ethnicity
    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
    Political Parties
    Candidates and Campaigns
    State Legislature
  • 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
    Gender and Race/Ethnicity
    Impact of Women Public Officials
    Congress
  • Finding Gender in Election 2016: Highlights

    by Kelly Dittmar, Ph.D.
    Published by the Barbara Lee Family Foundation (BLFF) and the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP)

    Highlights from the report about Presidential Gender Watch 2016, a project to track, analyze, and illuminate gender dynamics in the 2016 presidential election. With the help of expert scholars and practitioners, PGW worked for 21 months to further public understanding of how gender influences candidate strategy, voter engagement and expectations, media coverage, and electoral outcomes in campaigns for the nation’s highest executive office. 

    Report
    Research
    Candidates and Campaigns
    Federal Executive
  • Finding Gender in Election 2016

    by Kelly Dittmar, Ph.D.
    Published by the Barbara Lee Family Foundation (BLFF) and the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP)

    In April 2015, BLFF and CAWP launched Presidential Gender Watch 2016, a project to track, analyze, and illuminate gender dynamics in the 2016 presidential election. With the help of expert scholars and practitioners, PGW worked for 21 months to further public understanding of how gender influences candidate strategy, voter engagement and expectations, media coverage, and electoral outcomes in campaigns for the nation’s highest executive office. This report outlines key ways in which gender was at play in the presidential election.

    Report
    Research
    Candidates and Campaigns
    Federal Executive
  • Ask a Feminist: A Conversation with Susan J. Carroll on Gender and Electoral Politics

    An interview with CAWP senior scholar Susan J. Carroll about gender and electoral politics in Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society , Vol. 42, No. 3, Spring 2017, pgs.  771-783

    Article
    Research
    CAWP Scholar
    Candidates and Campaigns
  • 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
    Political Parties
    Candidates and Campaigns
    Candidate Recruitment
    Gender and Race/Ethnicity
    State Legislature
    Statewide Executive
    Congress
  • 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
    Gender and Race/Ethnicity
    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
    Gender and Race/Ethnicity
    Statewide Executive