January 22, 2020
From the nation's leading source on all things women and politics.

Electability Debate Erupts
Last week, it was reported that Senator Bernie Sanders had told fellow Senator Elizabeth Warren in a private meeting that he did not believe a woman could win the presidential election in 2020, opening the conversation about electability to a national level. Sanders denied having said this to Warren in the private meeting, but then this week spoke publicly about gender being one of several obstacles to electability. The revelation of this conversation coincided with the first presidential primary debate of 2020, and CAWP scholar Kelly Dittmar wrote on our Election Watch blog about our data showing that women can win the presidency, but the greater obstacle is disbelief in this potential.

In coverage of the scandal, journalists turned to CAWP repeatedly for analysis: The New York Times spoke to CAWP director Debbie Walsh about the vicious cycle of the electability trap; The Hill also spoke to Walsh about the problems with comparing Hillary Clinton with all women candidates; The Chicago Tribune cited work from Dittmar about the Kamala Harris campaign; The New York Times spoke to Dittmar about Warren's electability discussion at the debate; Politico quoted Dittmar on the burden of running an extra campaign against electability stereotypes; The Nation cited a tweet from Dittmar during our #GenderLens2020 debate livetweet about women candidates out-performing men in 2018; Glamour cited our Unfinished Business report about women's win rates; The Washington Post asked Walsh about women candidates raising more money than their male counterparts; and Vox interviewed Dittmar about the lack of evidence for women faring less well in specific regions.

Lastly, Emma Goldberg at The New York Times published an article with a unique twist on the electability question: she interviewed women officeholders around the country who are the same age as presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg using questions he's fielded during the campaign about his political experience to start a conversation around the question " Would a 37-Year-Old Woman Be Where Pete Buttigieg Is?"

May the Best Woman Win
The New York Times editorial board announced their endorsement for the Democratic presidential primary, and, in an unprecedented move, the board endorsed two candidates: Klobuchar and Warren. Noting that there is a conversation within the Democratic Party between moderates and progressives, the board chose Klobuchar and Warren as the best exemplars of these two poles of the intraparty debate. You can watch all of the candidate interviews that informed this decision via the  Times's docuseries, The Weekly .

Narrowing Field
Marianne Williamson  ended her presidential campaign earlier this month, citing low polling and the impending caucuses and primaries. With her exit, three women remain in the race of the original six candidates: Representative Tulsi Gabbard, Klobuchar, and Warren. This remains a record high level of women's participation in a presidential election. Senator Cory Booker also exited the race  last week, leaving just two people of color, and no Black candidates, in the presidential field.

#MeToo in 2020
New on CAWP's Election Watch blog from Research Associate Claire Gothreau: 2020 is the First Presidential Election of the #MeToo Era. Why Do the Political Parties See it so Differently? Gothreau examines the deep differences in perspective between conservatives and liberals on the #MeToo movement and on sexual harassment more generally, with ideological partisans unable to agree on whether credible sexual harassment allegations should be disqualifying and even on how harassment is defined. You can also find this piece via our partnership with Ms . magazine on their blog.

New Recruits
Both parties are working to increase the number of women running for office in election 2020. In Minnesota, The Minneapolis Star-Tribune­ spoke to Kelly Dittmar about the state GOP recruiting women candidates to run for seats currently held by the DFL. In New York State, meanwhile, The Albany Times Union also talked to Dittmar about Kirsten Gillibrand and her organization Off the Sidelines supporting Democratic women in state and congressional races, as well as Elise Stefanik's E-PAC, which is a major component of GOP recruitment efforts in 2020.

Campaigning with Kids
States around the country are tackling the question of whether candidates should be able to use campaign funds for childcare. CAWP associate director Jean Sinzdak spoke to WNYC's The Takeaway on national and state rulemaking on the issue, and this Friday she'll provide testimony to the Vermont House Committee on Government Operations on a related bill before the committee. The Boston Globe reports that Smithfield Town Council President Suzy Alba spoke before the Rhode Island Board of Elections, accompanied by her four-year-old son Sawyer, urging them to adopt new regulations that would make childcare expenses an allowed expenditure. On the topic of changing campaign expenditure rules to make it easier for people from all backgrounds to run for office...Nabilah Islam, a U.S. House candidate in Georgia, has petitioned the FEC to allow her to use campaign funds to pay for her health insurance while she campaigns. Read more at The Washington Post .
Help  CAWP keep you informed about women in the 2020 election.
Rutgers University Welcomes its New President

Rutgers University announced yesterday that the Board of Governors had selected Jonathan Holloway as the 21st president of the university. Holloway is a historian specializing in post-emancipation social and intellectual history in the United States, and his academic and administrative career has taken him to Yale and, most recently, Northwestern. CAWP joins the rest of the Rutgers community in welcoming Dr. Holloway and wishing him all the best in his new position!
Ready for Ready to Run ®?
Ready to Run™: This is Your Moment.

The 2020 Ready to Run® New Jersey conference is coming soon! This year's event will be held from March 20-21, with pre-conference programs for women of color beginning on the afternoon of the 20th. Ready to Run® is a non-partisan campaign training program to encourage women to run for elective office, position themselves for appointive office, work on a campaign, or get involved in public life in other ways. Early bird registration rates are still in effect, so act now to secure your spot!

CAWP at The Wing
Kelly Dittmar recently participated in an event at The Wing's Washington, D.C. location where she discussed findings from our recent report, Unfinished Business: Women Running in 2018 and Beyond, and talked about GOP efforts to recruit more women candidates in 2020 with Congresswoman Susan Brooks.

Trenton #MeToo Fallout Continues
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy addressed reports of widespread sexual harassment in his state of the state address, pledging to work towards cultural change within the institutions of government in Trenton. Tom Moran of NJ.com, however, reminds readers once again that Murphy is holding former senior advisor Julie Roginsky to a non-disclosure agreement that she claims is preventing her from discussing the toxic environment of the Murphy campaign. Also on NJ.com, the editorial board writes about all-male football-related political events, noting that seemingly social events like these are actually opportunities to deepen political relationships and linking the explicit exclusion of women to the toxic culture that has come to light in Trenton.
Women's March 2020
Politics Potpourri
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