Research and Scholarship

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







  • 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
    Women of Color in Politics
    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
    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






  • Women’s Decisions to Run for Office: A Relationally Embedded Model



    by Kira Sanbonmatsu and Susan J. Carroll
    Book chapter in The Political Psychology of Women in U.S. Politics, edited by Angela L. Bos and Monica C. Schneider (New York: Routledge, 2016)

    This chapter presents an alternative approach to the standard ambition model of candidacy. The authors analyze state legislators’ decisions to seek elective office using the 2008 and 1981 CAWP Recruitment Studies. The analysis reveals that a traditional model of ambition, in which candidacy is self-initiated, offers a less adequate account of how women reach office than of how men do so. The authors argue for an alternative model of candidacy, one that seems to apply more often to women than to men, that recognizes running for office as an embedded decision.

    Book Chapter
    Research
    CAWP Scholar
    Candidates and Campaigns
    Candidate Recruitment
    State Legislature






  • #WomenRun2016: State Legislative Outlook



    by Kelly Dittmar, Ph.D.

    In this post, we take a first look at women running for state legislative seats in 2016. The detail and predictability of our data is limited at this level due to the high number of candidates and races, but our outlook shows that we enter Election Day with a record-level number of female state legislative nominees, with enough poised to win that we expect an increase in women’s state legislative representation in 2017.

    Fact Sheet
    Research
    CAWP Scholar
    A Closer Look
    Candidates and Campaigns
    State Legislature






  • #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