August 20, 2019
From the nation's leading source on all things women and politics.
Leadership Transition at Eagleton

Dr. Ruth B. Mandel, director of the Eagleton Institute of Politics, has announced that she will step down from that post as of September 1, 2019. A founding director of CAWP, she will remain a Senior Scholar here at the Center, as well as a Rutgers Board of Governors Professor of Politics. During academic year 2019-20, she will take a research leave, during which she will focus on thinking and writing about women in American politics, reviewing and organizing information amassed over her time at CAWP in preparation for CAWP's 50th anniversary in 2021.

Rutgers-New Brunswick Chancellor Christopher Malloy has appointed John J. Farmer Jr., director, Miller Center for Community Protection and Resilience here at Rutgers, as the next director of Eagleton. Farmer has had a distinguished career including serving as New Jersey's Attorney General from 1999-2002; senior counsel and team leader for the 9/11 Commission; dean of the Rutgers School of Law-Newark from 2009-2013; and senior vice president and general counsel of Rutgers University. Farmer was named a University Professor in July of 2014.

The Chancellor's announcement and a letter from Ruth Mandel are available here.

CAWP director Debbie Walsh observed, "Ruth Mandel was among the earliest scholars to explore women's political participation, and in establishing and fostering CAWP, both as its director and as director of Eagleton, she built an institution respected worldwide for its pioneering research, education, and public service. We are pleased and honored that she will be able to turn her full attention back to women and politics, assessing five remarkable decades for women in politics as we approach a landmark year for the Center."

Walsh added, "John Farmer exemplifies what makes Eagleton distinctive, combining substantial scholarly experience with a widely admired career as a leader in government. An experienced academic administrator, he understands what CAWP is, does, and needs, and he will support and encourage every aspect of our work."
New State-by-State Look at Campaign Funds and Childcare 
2020 Senate candidate M.J. Hegar at a town hall event during her 2018 House campaign
Our associate director, Jean Sinzdak, looked into the ability of state-level candidates to use campaign funds for campaign-related childcare expenses in individual states and found that, while most states' laws are silent on the issue of allowing campaign funds for relevant childcare expenses, there are several that allow the practice via legislation or by decisions from state elections authorities.

Of the 13 states which currently allow or have allowed campaign funds for childcare, only four states have enshrined the practice into law: Minnesota, Utah, Colorado, and New York. In seven states - Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Texas, and Wisconsin - the practice has been allowed by the relevant elections or ethics authority in the state, while another two states allow candidates to use campaign funds for childcare in limited circumstances. In Connecticut, only privately-raised funds, as opposed to public campaign financing, can be used for childcare. California, meanwhile, imposes caps on childcare expenses.

California has pending legislation that would lift the cap and codify election spending on childcare, and New Jersey and New Hampshire also have bills allowing the practice making their way through their legislatures.

Three states have prohibited the use of campaign funds for childcare - Iowa, Massachusetts, and West Virginia - whether through ethics board rulings or legislation specifically barring the practice. In Tennessee, proposed legislation allowing the use of campaign funds for childcare died in committee.

On the federal level, last year the Liuba Grechen Shirley campaign applied for and received permission to pay for newly-acquired childcare expenses related to the campaign, while this year M.J. Hegar received permission from the FEC to use campaign funds to pay for pre-existing childcare arrangements that would now allow her to work on her campaign.

You can read more about the discussion of childcare and campaign funds at the state level on our blog and see the latest state-by-state information on the topic here.
Research and data like this makes US politics clearer.
Support the CAWP mission today.

Poll Position
New polling from YouGov and  The Economist  has some interesting tidbits about the
presidential race and how voters see women's political engagement. In POTUS 2020 polling, the results show Elizabeth Warren very close to Joe Biden on the question of voters' first choice in the primary, but being much less favored than Biden on electability vs. Donald Trump. Other questions in the series offer a fascinating deeper look at the comparison between Biden and Warren. When asked if there are any candidates that they would be disappointed to see win the nomination, 22% chose Joe Biden, the 3rd highest of any of the candidates, but only 9% chose Warren, by far the lowest among the candidates. Furthermore, 50% of respondents said that they were considering voting for Warren, the highest of all Democratic primary candidates, while Biden lags her at 47%. It paints an interesting picture of the drag on her campaign brought by the (gendered) electability conundrum faced by Warren and all the women in the race: Warren is near the top of the pack for voters' first choice, she's under consideration more than any candidate, and she's also the least-disliked candidate in the primary. Where would she be if she wasn't saddled with the added freight of "electability"?

In polling of attitudes about women in politics, a majority of respondents think that, ideally, there should be a roughly equal number of women and men in office. A majority of women (57%) agreed with this and a significant plurality of men (48%). [This is common sense and yet we're nowhere near that level of representation.] Respondents' views on whether men or women have an easier time getting elected to office are not so clear-cut. 42% think men have an easier time, but 36% think it makes no difference. For men, 38% think gender makes no difference on who has an easier time getting elected while 36% think male candidates have an easier time. On the other hand, 47% of women think men have an easier time, while 34% think gender makes no difference. Almost no one thinks that women have an easier time getting elected.

One very intriguing piece of the poll: the contrast between how voters view women and the presidency vs. women and the vice presidency. Voters, first of all, are more likely to think that America is ready for a woman vice president than a woman president, and a higher percentage of respondents also said that they themselves are comfortable with a woman VP than said they are comfortable with a woman POTUS. For both, it should be noted, a majority said they would be comfortable with both a woman vice president and a woman president. This is an interesting wrinkle, because executive office, the position of ultimate authority, remains elusive for women in politics, and their representation in mayoralties and governorships still lags.

You can read through the full YouGov/Economist polling data here.
News from the Trail
The conversation around "electability" continues in the presidential race. For Vox, Li Zhou spoke to Kelly Dittmar about five reasons why the electability debate is misguided, including the win rate for women in 2018, the electoral records of the women in the 2020 race, the excitement among voters with the idea of electing a woman, the lack of data to support the argument that a woman can't win the Midwest, and the circular logic inherent in the electability argument at its core. As Dittmar puts it, "If we assume that proving electability requires a woman being president, we can't use that as the measure to elect the first woman."

The New York Times, meanwhile, took a look at the Elizabeth Warren campaign specifically and how Democratic voters seem inspired by her candidacy while still harboring worries about her path to a general election victory, noting such shortcomings as her liberal ideology, her professorial style, and the Native American background gaffe that still follows her (despite the recent launch of a wide-ranging plan for Native Americans conceived in coordination with Rep. Deb Haaland).

With a record number of women running for president, as well as Pete Buttigieg, there are a quite a few contenders for the country's first First Gentleman. The Washington Post spoke to Kelly Dittmar about the strategic questions surrounding these spouses' role on the campaign trail, with most campaigns opting to have the candidates' husbands maintain a relatively low profile. As the visibility of the presidential campaign ramps up, it will be interesting to have a variety of campaigns to observe as this dynamic unfolds in entirely novel ways.
Last Chance to Up Your Public Speaking Game with  Ready to Run®

There are only a few spots left for our September 6th public speaking workshop, so reserve yours today! Seventy-five percent of women report that they have anxiety about giving speeches or presentations; join our Ready to Run® public speaking workshop on September 6 from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm to learn how to deliver your message more powerfully and how to identify your authentic style, along with specific tools and strategies for managing speech anxiety and becoming an effective communicator. This interactive workshop, designed with women in mind, will be led by Karla M. Jackson, founder of Sine Qua Non: Allies in Healing, an integrative therapy practice in New York City, and an adjunct professor in the Women's and Gender Studies Department and the Africana Studies Department at Rutgers.

Stacey Abrams's Fair Fight
Last week, erstwhile Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams launched her long-awaited project dedicated to voter protection efforts, Fair Fight 2020. Following her 2018 campaign, in which targeted voter purges were deployed by her opponent and then-Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, Abrams had long hinted that she would center her post-campaign efforts on securing the rights of enfranchisement. Per Abrams's Fair Fight 2020 launch video, the program will focus on recruiting and funding voter protection teams, and, according to coverage in The Washington Post, the effort will target 20 potential battleground states in the Midwest and Southeast. Check out this Vogue profile that gets into her decision-making process and the advice she's given to 2020 presidential candidates. Jelani Cobb also profiles Stacey Abrams for The New Yorker, charting her political development and how changing election rules that allow for potential voter suppression have influenced her current course.

Voices for Survivors
In the discussion in the New York state legislature about the recently-passed Child Victims Act, four New York legislators, Assemblywomen Rodneyse Bichotte, Catalina Cruz, and Yuh-Line Niou and Senator Alessandra Biaggi, discussed their own experiences as survivors of childhood sexual abuse, and how their difficulties in processing trauma led to their support of a bill that gives additional time for victims to come forward to report abuse and seek civil and criminal restitution. You can read about their advocacy for the legislation and the bonds they formed in this New York Times article. They also filmed a public service announcement to publicize the new law, with versions recorded in Mandarin from Assemblywoman Niou, in Spanish from Assemblywoman Cruz, and in Haitian Creole from Assemblywoman Bichotte. Government is made better by women like these, advocating from their experiences and speaking for and to their communities.

In Other News
Taeku Lee from UC Berkeley and EunSook Lee of the AAPI Civic Engagement Fund published a piece in The New York Times called " Why Trump Fears Women of Color" about the political power of women of color and how to support their political engagement and leadership. Wharton Business Radio's Women@Work program spoke to Kelly Dittmar about the women running for office in 2020 and the long history of women running for executive office. In The New York Times, Joan C. Williams writes about the "likability trap" for women in leadership roles, the balancing act of embodying the masculine traits we identify with leadership while doing so in a feminine way to avoid being seen as unlikable. Williams writes about this quandary in multiple areas of leadership, including political leadership, and how this doubled behavioral consciousness forces women into performing more labor than their male peers, before discussing way to upend our expectations of leadership: "The goal is not to empower women to be as emotionally tone deaf and grabby as men are sometimes encouraged to be. Instead, we should work to make sure that both men and women are rewarded for displaying empathy or a willingness to put the common good above self-interest. These qualities have long been undervalued in work and in political life because they have been coded as feminine, and the world needs much more of them."
CAWP Calendar

Center for American Women and Politics
Eagleton Institute of Politics
Rutgers University | New Brunswick
191 Ryders Lane, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8557
(848) 932-9384 - Fax: (732) 932-6778