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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Why Not a Woman of Color?: The Candidacies of US Women of Color for Statewide Executive Office
by Kira Sanbonmatsu
Oxford University Press (September 2015)
This review essay focuses on the intersection of gender and race in statewide executive officeholding. The author argues that scholarly neglect of this topic risks naturalizing the dearth of women of color in statewide executive positions, sending the message that it is understandable that women lack access to those offices and/or that such offices aren’t realistically obtainable. Using data from the Center for American Women and Politics, the author examines the status of women of color in statewide offices and state and party patterns in their presence as candidates and officeholders. Directions for future research are suggested.
Women’s Election to Office in the Fifty States: Opportunities and Challenges
by Kira Sanbonmatsu
Book chapter in Gender and Elections: Shaping the Future of American Politics,
Eds. Susan J. Carroll, CAWP, Rutgers University and Richard L. Fox, Union College, New York
Cambridge University Press, 2013 Third Edition, pp. 265-287.
Discussion of the barriers and opportunities women face in seeking state legislative and statewide executive office and the differences across states in women's officeholding. Party is a key factor in understanding women's candidacies and women's representation.
More Women Can Run: Gender and Pathways to the State Legislatures
by Susan Carroll and Kira Sanbonmatsu
Oxford University Press, September 2013, 176 pages
Analyzing nationwide surveys of state legislators conducted by CAWP, More Women Can Run challenges assumptions of a single model of candidate emergence with a relationally embedded model of candidacy. It reorients research on women's election to office and offers strategies for political practitioners concerned about women's political equality. Video of a book talk given by Carroll and Sanbonmatsu available here.
Preparedness Meets Opportunity: Women's Increased Representation in the New Jersey Legislature
by Susan Carroll and Kelly Dittmar
Center for American Women and Politics, Eagleton Institute of Politics, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
July 2012, 40 pages
This paper examines the factors that account for the rapid rise in the number of women legislators in New Jersey, focusing primarily on the time period from 2004 through 2011. Central to the analysis is the question of what it would take to bring about enduring change in a political system characterized by a strong, male-dominated party system like that found in New Jersey.
Women’s Pathways to America’s State Legislatures
by Kira Sanbonmatsu
Scholars Strategy Network Key Findings
Analysis of results from an unprecedented nationwide survey of state legislators conducted in 2008 by the Center for American Women and Politics at the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University.