Research and Scholarship

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

  • #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
    Gender and Race/Ethnicity
    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
    Gender and Race/Ethnicity
    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
    Gender and Race/Ethnicity
    Congress
  • Women in State Government: Still Too Few

    by Susan J. Carroll
    in The Book of the States, Vol. 48 edited by The Council of State Governments (Lexington, KY: The Council of State Governments, 2016).

    In recent years the movement of women into state-level offices has slowed after several decades of gains. Efforts to actively recruit women for elective and appointive positions will be critical in determining what the future holds for women in state government.

    Article
    Research
    CAWP Scholar
    Candidate Recruitment
    Women Political Appointees
    Impact of Women Public Officials
    State Legislature
    Statewide Executive
  • 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

    Book Chapter
    Research
    CAWP Scholar
    Candidates and Campaigns
    Candidate Recruitment
    Gender and Race/Ethnicity
    Statewide Executive
  • Encouragement is not Enough: Addressing Social and Structural Barriers to Female Recruitment

    by Kelly Dittmar
    Politics & Gender 2015 (December)

    Invite a woman to run for office. Based on findings that women are most responsive to and reliant on encouragement in making the decision to run for office, this invitation refrain is pervasive among those seeking greater gender parity in U.S. politics. While organizations have sought to provide potential women candidates with training, information, and resources to assist them throughout the recruitment process, a focus on "invitation" can constrain a more complex and comprehensive approach to female candidate recruitment in both research and practice.

    Article
    Research
    CAWP Scholar
    Candidate Recruitment
  • Women Voters

    by Kelly Dittmar
    Book chapter in Minority Voting in the United States, eds. Kyle L. Kreider and Thomas J. Baldino. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger, 2015.

    This chapter provides an overview of scholarship examining the behavior and influence of women voters in United States history, from the fight for suffrage to the emergence of gender gaps in vote choice, voter preferences, and voter turnout. Dittmar exposes and explains gender differences between men and women voters, as well as among women, and discusses how those differences influence the electoral process. This chapter introduces subsequent chapters in the volume that analyze gender differences in specific issue areas such as guns and crime, abortion, and the role of government. 

    Book Chapter
    Research
    CAWP Scholar
    Women Voters and the Gender Gap
  • Voices. Votes. Leadership. The Status of Black Women in American Politics 2015

    By the Center for American Women and Politics for Higher Heights Leadership Fund, 2015
    Authored by Kelly Dittmar, Ph.D, Assistant Research Professor, Center for American Women and Politics, Rutgers University


    This comprehensive report provides a historical outline of Black women’s struggle for political representation. It discusses the current landscape of political leadership for Black women across the country and across levels of office, their growing political influence, and the outlook for Black women's participation in the 2016 elections. It demonstrates the need for greater engagement, recruitment, and inclusion of Black women in politics and government.

    Report
    Research
    Gender and Race/Ethnicity
    Congress
    Statewide Executive
    State Legislature
    Local