December 22, 2020
From the nation's leading source on all things women and politics.
Farewell 2020
Happy holidays to our CAWP friends, partners, and supporters. This is the last newsletter of 2020; our offices will be closed from December 25th through the end of the year and will reopen on January 4th. 

While this farewell to 2020 is anything but fond, there have been bright spots in the gloom of a trying year. For the first time in history, the United States has elected a woman, and a woman of color, to the vice presidency. When Kamala Harris is sworn in on January 20th, she will make history and become a potent symbol of what is possible for the children and young people of America. Depending on the outcomes of run-off Senate elections in Georgia, she may also be one of the busiest and most consequential vice presidents in the modern era.

Women have once again set records for representation in congressional and state legislative offices, and women of color have also expanded their seats in Congress this year. Republican women in particular had a stand-out year, bursting past their benchmarks as candidates and election victors. Democratic women continued to build on their significant 2018 successes.

Here at CAWP, our stellar team rose to the challenges of 2020; they did more than just maintain, in wildly difficult circumstances, the excellence in data and programming that CAWP is known for - they improved on our mission in every way. As the country shut down, we pivoted our in-person Ready to Run® and Susan N. Wilson NEW Leadership® New Jersey programs to virtual formats, and, with the help of our national network partners, these programs were able to reach an even wider audience. Both our annual Senator Wynona Lipman Chair in Women's Political Leadership lecture and our Teach a Girl to Lead® classroom reading project with women officeholders also transitioned to virtual formats, bringing education and inspiration to hundreds of participants of all ages around the country.

We launched, for the very first time, a public-facing online database of every woman to serve in state legislative, statewide, and congressional office in the history of the United States. With more than eleven thousand entries, the CAWP Women Elected Officials Database is an unparalleled resource unavailable anywhere else in the world.

Our elections data team continued to provide the most up-to-date and thorough information about women as candidates and in elections results, and in 2020 they deployed new products to make that data more accessible and meaningful. For the 2020 election cycle, CAWP created the 2020 Presidential Gender Gap Poll Tracker to examine what role women would play as voters this year. For CAWP's election night results, we made our data even more available for everyone via our new Election 2020 Results Tracker, which updated throughout election night (and beyond) to display, in interactive data visualizations, the latest information about women winners as races were called. We also updated our candidate information for previous cycles going back to 1990 so that the data presentation matches our modern format, making it easier to understand and compare to current numbers. Finally, our data team put our data into context via our Election Analysis blog, while also recruiting outside scholars and experts to contribute to our 2020 election analysis and expand the perspectives CAWP brings to our audience.

CAWP's devotion to scholarship continued and expanded in 2020 with the launch of our new Women, Money, and Politics Reports series. The inaugural entry in the series, The Money Hurdle in the Race for Governor, used nearly two decades of campaign finance data to examine women as both candidates and donors in gubernatorial races.

In a year of loss, we suffered the profound loss of our founding co-director, Ruth B. Mandel. Ruth led the Center in a time when no one was convinced that an institution devoted to women's political participation was necessary, much less important. Her guidance, both as director here at CAWP and later as the director of our parent institution, the Eagleton Institute of Politics, built CAWP into the most valuable institution in the country devoted to understanding women's representation in politics and promoting the expansion of that representation. Read more about Ruth's extraordinary life here.

We feel her absence keenly and daily, both personally and in all she did to advance CAWP's mission. We honor her memory by recommitting to the work set forth, by picking up the fallen torch and bearing it forward to illuminate a brighter future.
Ready to Run® 2021
Registration is open for our 2021 Ready to Run® campaign training series, which will begin in late January and continue through March. Ready to Run® 2021 will again take place virtually due to ongoing COVID restrictions, but the limitations of the present time also present new opportunities. This year, our flagship Ready to Run® training series in New Jersey will offer sessions that are nationally focused, as well as sessions specifically tailored to the political environment here in New Jersey. In addition, thanks to the generosity of our individual and institutional donors, the virtual Ready to Run® 2021 will be offered free of charge to all participants. Read to Run® 2021 kicks off on January 21st with our diversity initiative sessions, Run Sister Run, Rising Stars, and Eleccion Latina. Workshops and panels in this year's series include national sessions on launching a campaign, digital strategy, strategic communications, and fundraising, as well as New Jersey sessions on the political parties in the Garden State, advocacy and lobbying, and securing political appointments. Learn more and register for some or all of the sessions here.
In difficult times, help us make CAWP programs accessible to all.

Money and Gubernatorial Races: How are Women Faring as Candidates and Donors? 
The authors of our recent report, The Money Hurdle in the Race for Governor, detail some of the key findings in their report for CAWP's Election Analysis blog, including:
  • Women's political voice is not equal to men's with respect to campaign contributions.
  • Women are more likely to give to women gubernatorial candidates than men, and women are more likely to give to Democrats than Republicans.
  • The total amount of gubernatorial campaign contributions given by women is less than what men give.
  • Women are underrepresented as gubernatorial candidates. This is especially true for women of color and Republican women.
  • Women gubernatorial candidates are competitive fundraisers.
  • There are important gender, race, and party differences in the structure of gubernatorial campaign receipts.
Read the full analysis here.
Rutgers Renames Iconic Building in Honor of Ruth Bader Ginsburg 
The Rutgers Board of Governors voted unanimously to rename a landmark residence hall on the Rutgers-Newark campus in honor of late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The building, which is at 15 Washington Street in Newark, is a "17-story neoclassical icon of the Newark Skyline." Ginsburg was a faculty member at the Rutgers-Newark law school from 1963 to 1972. Read more about the naming decision and Ginsburg's connection to Rutgers here.
CAWP in the News


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