September 04, 2019
From the nation's leading source on all things women and politics.

First Woman Out    
Last week, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announced her withdrawal from the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, becoming the first woman to bow out of the race. In her announcement, she also laid out her plan to raise at least one million dollars to elect women candidates in the 2020 elections through an expansion of her Off the Sidelines initiative.  Politico  discussed the Gillibrand campaign and its struggles to garner media attention in a crowded field, despite some creative on-the-ground campaigning. FiveThirtyEight also examined her failure to catch fire, noting that ideological similarities in the crowd of candidates made standing out more difficult, and the fact that her direct appeal to women voters may not have helped her, since there is scant evidence that women voters automatically gravitate towards women candidates based either on shared identity or policy priorities. Writing for The New York Daily News , Borough of Manhattan Community College CUNY professor, Rutgers alumna, and former CAWP graduate assistant Heather James discussed how Gillibrand's core political legacy, while nominally popular, is not electorally motivating, as well as the lingering animosity directed at Gillibrand for her role in calling for Al Franken's resignation. Franken comes up frequently across the post mortems for the Gillibrand campaign, as it does in Lisa Lerer's New York Times article that takes a look at the shortcomings of Gillibrand's "women plus" campaign, in which she quotes CAWP's Kelly Dittmar: "Women who challenge the power of well-liked men are not rewarded for it. It takes the Gillibrands of the world, who are willing to take some of this flak, to make it easier for the women who come after them."
Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris are running dual campaigns
For CNN Opinion, Kelly Dittmar writes about the additional work women and minority candidates have to do when they run for office as they run both a traditional campaign as well as a "campaign of belief" to convince voters that they are viable candidates:

Waging a successful campaign for office is hard enough for any candidate. Imagine waging two at a time. That's what is required of the women running for president, who have to oversee a traditional campaign in addition to a second one to convince skeptics of their "electability."

Women and people of color are used to doing more work to reach the same results as white men. But women running for president in 2020 are not simply waging the same campaigns "backwards and in high heels" -- they are also engaging in different work that is not required of their opponents...

That additional labor is a burden on candidates who are already held to higher standards on the campaign trail. And that burden is not only a psychological one. It puts a strain on a campaign's most vital resources: time and money. Women candidates have to spend additional time convincing donors, voters, or pundits that they can win, not to mention money identifying and addressing these doubts.

News from the Trail
Speaking of electability (WE'RE ALWAYS SPEAKING OF ELECTABILITY), NPR spoke to Debbie Walsh about the negative feedback loop of the electability: "In some ways, it seems like it's a story that is self-perpetuating. There are a lot of people who say they're enthusiastic about her, but afraid others aren't - and that creates this notion that she or a woman in general won't become electable." Walsh also spoke to The Dallas Morning News for a story about how polls show that voters are themselves ready for a woman president, but fears that other people aren't may be dampening enthusiasm for women candidates: "It's a huge field and a lot of the men aren't getting traction, either. It's hard to carve out a spot for yourself. [That said] we are not living in a post-racial or a post-gender world."

The New York Times Magazine has a lengthy profile of longshot candidate Marianne Williamson from journalist and novelist Taffy Brodesser-Akner filled with interesting details about Williamson's life on the campaign trail.

The next Democratic debate is coming up next Thursday, September 12th, and the lineup will include three of the remaining five women candidates: Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, and Elizabeth Warren. As always, follow CAWP's live discussion of the debates on Twitter with the hashtag #GenderLens2020 and watch the debate on ABC.
Women's Equality Day 2019
August 26th was Women's Equality Day, and CAWP celebrated by reminding our audience of the progress yet to be made, our data collections that make the picture of women's equality clearer, and the ways CAWP programs are helping push that progress forward. Our friend Swanee Hunt wrote for CNN about the history of the suffrage movement, including its intertwining with the abolitionist and civil rights movements, sometimes in alliance and sometimes at odds, and she chronicles the legacy of the movement into the present day. CNBC spoke to Kelly Dittmar about the power of women voters 99 years after women won the right to vote, and they quote Dittmar about the relationship between the Democratic Party and their voters: "I think it's an important thing to watch in this next election if the Democratic Party is being responsive to the demands, agendas and priorities of women, especially women of color."
CAWP research and educational programs help make real the promise of Women's Equality Day.

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CAWP Welcomes Visiting Practitioner Kimberly Peeler-Allen  
Our friend and frequent collaborator Kimberly Peeler-Allen will be a visiting practitioner at CAWP for the fall semester. Peeler-Allen is one of the two founders of Higher Heights for America , a national PAC for Black women candidates. CAWP has been partnering with Higher Heights for a number of years and together we have produced three reports on the status of Black women in office, including the most recent, The Chisholm Effect. At CAWP, Peeler-Allen will serve as an advisor on our Election 2020 analysis, guest lecture in various graduate and undergraduate courses, work on a book she's writing on Black women activists and motherhood, and participate in the life of the Center. "We are delighted to have Kimberly joining us for the semester," says CAWP Director Debbie Walsh. "She brings a rich and multifaceted set of political experiences which will benefit our students as well our work on women's political participation."
CAWP scholars were in attendance at the 2019 American Political Science Association Annual Meeting and Exposition, where Susan J. Carroll was honored for both her intellectual work in the field of political science and as a founder and champion of Rutgers' Women and Politics graduate program. The panel, comprised of graduates of the Rutgers program, discussed Dr. Carroll's impacts on the field of gender and politics broadly, as well as her impact on their own lives and careers, and Carroll told attendees, "I've just been the luckiest person on earth, as far as I'm concerned, in terms of my career and the people I've been able to work with. It's been a real pleasure." She also handed out pins referencing Shirley Chisholm's famous quote, "If they don't give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair," featuring a folding chair and the initialism BYOC: Bring Your Own Chair.

Also on the APSA agenda from CAWP scholars: Kira Sanbonmatsu presented her recent research, Revisiting Women's Representation: Knowledge in the #MeToo and Women's March Era, on a panel about patriarchy in government institutions and policies, and Kelly Dittmar presented her own recent work, Addressing Invisibility: Gender and Race Affinity Groups on Capitol Hill, on a panel about congressional staff, constituent representation, and legislative behavior. CAWP's newest addition, Claire Gothreau, also presented some of her pre-CAWP research, Not Quite Woke: Physiological Data Reveals Democrats' Sexist Leader Evaluations.
Voice of America spoke to Debbie Walsh about the harassment and violence that women face when they seek office, particularly in light of President Trump's persistent targeting of women of color in politics for his Twitter-fueled vitriol: "The response is to attack them to demean them to belittle them and to make them the 'other' and the outsider. It is such an old trope of 'You don't belong here.' It's a message that women and people of color and women of color have received so many times in history."

Jean Sinzdak talked to Pennsylvania Capital-Star about her ongoing project cataloguing how states are treating the use of campaign funds for childcare expenses: "The cost is one of those...institutional barriers to people with young children getting into campaigns and running for office." You can read her recent state-of-the-states post here and bookmark our updating database.

On NPR: the Cherokee Nation has named its first delegate to the U.S. Congress, Kimberly Teehee. Teehee, a lawyer and Obama-administration appointee, was chosen by the Tribe's council last Thursday. In 1835, the Treaty of Echota led to the forcible removal of the Cherokee people from lands in the southeastern United States, as well as thousands of deaths in concentration camps and the forced march that became known as the Trail of Tears. The treaty also, however, gave the Cherokee Nation the right to appoint a congressional delegate, but in the intervening 184 years that right had never been exercised. Teehee's appointment awaits congressional approval.

The Nation takes a look at the Republican Party's "white women problem." With GOP women losing ground at the state and federal level and Republican leadership's sclerotic response to this crisis, are white women turning away from the party? The article notes that hostile sexism, which is a form of sexism marked by overt antagonistic attitudes as opposed to implicit biases, has become a key marker for predicting support of the current Republican president. With news stories continuing to tout accounts of the progress made by Republican women in the 2020 election, stories like this are an important part of the conversation about the ongoing tremor in one of the country's major political parties.
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Center for American Women and Politics
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