December 11, 2018
A newsletter to keep you informed about all things women and politics from the Center for American Women and Politics, Rutgers University.

Happy Holidays to all you merry CAWPsters! This will be the final CAWP newsletter of 2018. It's been an inspiring year to spend following women in politics, and our only holiday wish is that the New Year will bring all new inspirations. We'll see you again on January 8th!

J oin Rebecca Traister and Brittney Cooper for a Discussion of the Political Power of Women's Anger 
On Tuesday, January 29th, CAWP and the Eagleton Institute of Politics are thrilled to host Rebecca Traister, writer at large at New York magazine and the author of Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women's Anger, and Brittney Cooper, Associate Professor of Women's and Gender Studies and Africana Studies at Rutgers University-New Brunswick and author of Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower, for "The Political Power of Women's Anger: A Conversation with Rebecca Traister and Brittney Cooper." The event, held at the Douglass Student Center on the Rutgers University campus, begins at 7pm and is free and open to the public; books will be available for purchase and signing. Registration is required.
Another New Record: More Women of Color to Serve in Statewide Elected Executive Office than Ever Before 
Next year, a record number of women of color will serve in statewide elected executive offices. Following the midterm elections, at least 14 (11D, 3R) women of color will serve in statewide elected executive offices, including one woman of color governor, making up 4.5% of all 312 such offices nationwide. By contrast, however, women of color are nearly 20% of the total population of the United States. The previous record had been 11, or 3.5% of all statewide elected executive offices. Prior to this year, only 34 women of color had ever served in statewide elected office, and that number will stand at 43 next year. Because of this persistent rarity of women of color's representation in these offices, a number of firsts were achieved around the country this year; to find out more about these historic advancements, see CAWP's press release on women of color in statewide elected office. "This cycle shows that women of color can win statewide," said CAWP Senior Scholar Kira Sanbonmatsu. "But it also shows that both political parties need to recruit more women of color to run. The talent is there. It needs to be tapped."
We've come a long way. There's a long way to go.

Please keep CAWP and its mission of research, education, and empowerment in mind for holiday giving.
Ready to Run ® ? We hope so.
Ready to Run™: This is Your Moment.
Ready to Run®: This is Your Moment
Having more women in office changes the way government functions, from policy priorities to process. Our own research shows this. And Tom Moran at The Star-Ledger last week wrote about the all-women investigative team looking into rape allegations against Phil Murphy aide Al Alvarez. "The female leadership seemed to make a difference. The hearing was efficient, thorough, and unusually free of acrimony," Moran writes. "In five hours of testimony and questions, it was impossible to distinguish Democrats from Republicans without checking the nameplates. Interruptions were rare. Brennan was offered time to take two breaks and invited to eat her lunch in a private area normally reserved for legislators."

What does government need? It needs more of you. Whether you've made the decision to seek office or are still only considering the idea, join the flagship Ready to Run ® campaign training conference in New Jersey next March 15th-16th, where you'll learn the mechanics of creating a candidacy and the skills at organizing, fundraising, and messaging to make yourself a successful candidate.

Two States Join a Very Small Club
Only one state legislative chamber has ever reached or surpassed parity, when 13 of 24 seats in the New Hampshire Senate were held by women in 2009-2010.

Not anymore.

Nevada's State Assembly and Colorado's State House have both surpassed the 50% threshold, with women winning 52.4% of seats in the Nevada Assembly and 50.8% of seats in the Colorado House.

Our project tracking women candidates in state legislatures around the country is still ongoing, as race results continue to be determined, but our count of women who've been elected to state legislative office currently stands at 2,088 (1,411D, 657R, 12NP, 4I, 4P), smashing the previous record of 1,879.

As ever, the best place to find out what's going on with your state legislature is your local newspaper. The Denver Post wrote about historical diversity among its elected leaders and how that might change government, and the Las Vegas Sun discussed the Democratic majorities in their legislature and their new women-majority Assembly. The Associated Press reported on the new record number of women set to serve in the Maine legislature amidst a broader national trend of women gaining political ground. Meanwhile, The Plain Dealer wrote about a report commissioned by a non-partisan Ohio-based PAC, Matriots, working to elect more women, that shows that women make up roughly 29% of elected officials at all levels of government in Ohio, from school boards to senators. Newspapers across the country are doing vital work covering stories that impact your life, even if it doesn't make the 24 hour news. Find your local paper and subscribe today.
More of Them Sweet, Sweet Numbers
Two weeks ago, the last remaining race for US Congress featuring a woman candidate was decided, so we can provide some final numbers about the 2018 midterms:
  • In the U.S. Congress, 126 (106D, 20R) women will serve overall, increasing the percentage of women in Congress from 20% to 23.6%.
  • 102 (89D, 13R) women will serve in the U.S. House (previous record: 85 set in 2016). Women will be 23.4% of all members, up from 19.3% in 2018.
  • 24 (17D, 7R) women will serve in the U.S. Senate (previous record: 23).
  • The freshman class of women in the House of Representatives in 2019 will be the largest ever, with 36 (35D, 1R) non-incumbent women elected. The previous high was 24, set in 1992.
  • There will be a record total of 43 women of color in the House. Of the women of color selected, 22 (22D) are Black women, 12 (11D, 1R) are Latinas, 6 (6D) are Asian/Pacific Islander women, 2 (2D) are Native American women, and 1 (1D) is a Middle Eastern/North African woman. The previous high was 34.
  • Nine (6D, 3R) women will serve as governors in 2019, matching the current record, including 1 (1D) woman of color.
  • 56 (32D, 23R, 1NP) women won other statewide elected executive offices this year, falling short of the record.

Crisis in the Caucus 

Source: CAWP and Washington Post

The 2018 midterm elections were only a month ago, but Kate Zernike reports in The New York Times that women are already working to keep the momentum going and gearing up for the next election cycle, as activist organizations seek to expand their reach and candidates are already mulling runs. They're determined to ensure that the "Year of the Woman" becomes more than just a year. Zernike also points out, however, the steeper climb facing the Republican Party.

As we've been reporting on over the past month, a major story of the 2018 election has been the significant losses experienced by women in the Republican Party this year. With our final tally now available, we know that the number of GOP women in the House will drop by 10 next year, from 23 to 13. This shadow cast over an otherwise bright election outcome has led to some soul searching among members of the Republican Party. But not all of them. Representative Elise Stefanik, who had headed the NRCC's recruitment efforts in 2018, told Roll Call that she's planning on making efforts to support women candidates in Republican primaries in 2020. Incoming NRCC Chairman Tom Emmer, however, seemed to disagree: "If that's what Elise wants to do, then that's her call, her right. But I think that's a mistake," Emmer told  Roll Call. Stefanik later fired back on Twitter , "I will continue speaking out about the crisis level of GOP women in Congress and will try to lead and change that... But NEWSFLASH I wasn't asking for permission."

Stefanik isn't alone. In The Hill, a number of Republican women politicians and activists spoke about the failure of the GOP to recruit and support women candidates during the primary process, and Sarah Chamberlain of the Republican Main Street Partnership vowed to engage more, and spend more, on women candidates at earlier stages. The GOP has made some steps to bring, or at least keep, women into leadership roles. Liz Cheney will replace Cathy McMorris Rodgers as the House Republican conference chair, and, as Roll Call reports, Parker Hamilton Poling has been tapped for the executive director spot at the NRCC for the 2020 election cycle.

Will this be enough? CAWP scholar Kelly Dittmar assembled a Twitter thread showing win rates for women and men, Democrats and Republicans, in the 2018 election, illustrating a stark contrast: among non-incumbents, Democratic women were the
most successful candidates for House and Senate this year, while Republican women were the  least successful . This analysis was picked up and expanded on by Philip Bump in The Washington Post for a series of infographics explaining the partisan upsides/downsides for women in 2018. They show a very challenging environment for GOP women. Jill Lawrence, writing in USA Today , believes that the problems the GOP face with women candidates and women voters go beyond recruitment and messaging, and derive from policy priorities that are fundamentally at odds with what the majority of women believe: from healthcare to immigration, abortion to gun laws, the environment to equal rights, polling shows that women don't like a lot of what they see from the Republican Party. The GOP can expand recruitment and change their messaging... but who will be there to hear?
CAWP Calendar

Center for American Women and Politics
Eagleton Institute of Politics
Rutgers University | New Brunswick
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