November 13, 2018
A newsletter to keep you informed about all things women and politics from the Center for American Women and Politics, Rutgers University.

Women Candidates in the 2018 Elections 
(Photo Credits: Whitney Curtis, Rick Loomis, Kerem Yucel, Scott Eisen, Rashida Tlaib/Facebook)
Last Tuesday was a culmination of a year of new records and exciting breakthroughs. In 2018, more women ran for office and won nominations at all levels of office, and Tuesday provided further milestones. Next year, the U.S. Congress will see at least 125 women serving in both chambers--at least 102 women will serve in the House (a new record, up from 85) and at least 23 in the Senate. If Cindy Hyde-Smith wins her upcoming runoff election in Mississippi, the Senate will also see a record number of women serving in 2019 (24). At least 9 women will serve as governors in 2019, which matches the record for women simultaneously serving as state executives.

In addition, the 117th Congress will see the largest freshman class of women legislators in the House of Representatives ever, finally beating a record set in 1992, with 35 (34D, 1R) women winning election against incumbents or for open seats.  Meanwhile, at least 43 women of color will serve in the U.S. House next year, a new record, and women achieved a number of milestones around the country. The U.S. Congress will seat its first Native American women (Deb Haaland and Sharice Davids) and its first Muslim women (Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar); Massachusetts, Connecticut, Kansas, and Minnesota will send women of color to Congress for the first time (Ayana Pressley, Jahana Hayes, Sharice Davids, and Ilhan Omar, respectively); Tennessee elected their first woman senator (Marsha Blackburn), as did Arizona (Kyrsten Sinema); Texas, a state that is nearly 40% Hispanic, elected its first Latinas to Congress (Veronica Escobar and Sylvia Garcia); and, in New Mexico, Michelle Lujan Grisham will become the first Democratic woman of color to serve as governor in U.S. history.

There is a critical caveat to these successes: while the number of Democratic women serving will increase next year, the number of women in the House Republican caucus will actually decline in the next term of Congress. "We've seen important breakthroughs, particularly in the U.S. House," said CAWP Director Debbie Walsh, "but deepening disparities between the parties in women's representation will continue to hobble us on the path to parity. We need women elected on both sides of the aisle."

For more detailed information, see the latest update on our results report, and to see a great deal of this information in a gorgeous interactive infographic, see the work of Denise Lu at The New York Times .

More women ran this year. And more women won. But more women running also means many women lost their elections this year. It's important to remember, however, that an early electoral loss frequently portends an auspicious political career. For more, check out new research from our friends at the Barbara Lee Family Foundation, Relaunch: Resilience and Rebuilding for Women Candidates After an Electoral Loss.

Down Ballot Successes for Women Candidates in 2018
T he number of women serving in state legislatures in 2019 will be more than 2,000, topping the previous record of 1,879, after  more than 1,700 women won elections around the country last Tuesday (276 state legislative seats held by women were not up for re-election this year). Next year, at least 27% of state legislators nationwide will be women, a proportion that has stubbornly hovered at around 24-25% for a decade. The team at CAWP is still busy crunching numbers and will issue a full report on state legislative races soon.

Several states have made progress in the number of women to serve in their state legislatures. Maryland and Oregon, for example, both will have record numbers of women serving in their legislatures, according to Maryland Matters and The Salem Reporter . Meanwhile, The Las Vegas Sun reports that the Nevada Assembly, the state's lower house, will be majority female in 2019. This is only the second time that a state legislative chamber has become majority women-- the first was the New Hampshire State Senate, in which 13 of 24 state senators were women in 2009-2010. No state has yet to elect women as a majority of their full legislature.

In addition to governors, at least 52 women were elected to other statewide executive offices in this year's midterms, including Peggy Flanagan, the first woman of color elected statewide in Minnesota and just the second Native American woman elected to statewide office in the nation, Letitia James, the first woman of color elected statewide in New York, and Kimberly Yee, the first GOP woman of color elected statewide in Arizona.
It's been an amazing election year for women and politics. 

Help us gear up for the next one.

Support our mission of research and education with a generous donation today.
Women Voters and the 2018 Midterms 
(Photo Credit: The Associated Press)
CAWP scholar Susan J. Carroll released a preliminary analysis of women voters in the 2018 midterms, drawn from polling from Edison Research. "Election Day polls suggest that the preferences of women voters fueled the Democratic takeover of the U.S. House in the 2018 midterm elections. A sizable majority of women, 59%, compared with a minority of men, 47%, reported casting ballots for the Democratic congressional candidate in their district," Carroll writes. A majority of college-educated white women voters, a key constituency watched closely by analysts this year, supported Democratic House candidates this year, after splitting their votes evenly between the parties in 2016. Latinas and Black women, meanwhile, voted overwhelmingly in favor of Democratic candidates, with 73% of Latinas and 92% of Black women supporting Democrats. The gender gap--defined as the difference in the proportions of women and men who voted for the winning candidate--was also evident in statewide races throughout the country.

To read more, check out Carroll's release:  Women Voters Propel Democratic Takeover of U.S. House of Representatives; Large Gender Gaps Apparent in Most 2018 Senate and Gubernatorial Races.
Washington Post Live:  A New Era of Women in Politics
On Thursday, November 15th, at 4:30pm ET, join The Washington Post, the Center for American Women and Politics and our Gender Watch 2018 partners at the Barbara Lee Family Foundation for a Washington Post Live event: A New Era of Women in Politics, where academics, activists, and journalists will debrief the audience about women and the 2018 midterms. Register to attend the event in person in Washington, D.C. or bookmark the Post Live site to view a livestream.
Born to Run
You watched women across the country declare their candidacies. You celebrated them winning nominations. You reveled in them being elected to office in record numbers. Perhaps you said to yourself -"maybe I could do that."

You can.

Register for CAWP's flagship New Jersey Ready to RunĀ® conference, to be held between March 15th and 16th in New Brunswick, NJ, to learn how to run for office and make the connections to help get you there. Not in New Jersey? Ready to RunĀ® partner programs in more than 20 states around the country hold training events throughout the year tailored to their own local political environments. Find a program near you today.
CAWP Director Debbie Walsh Pens Op-Ed in USA Today
(Photo credit:  Susan Cordeiro)
Year of the Woman 2: Record election success for women that goes way beyond the numbers

It's been a historic two years for women. From the day Donald Trump was elected to the outcome of this week's elections, we have seen women breaking records - as candidates, as activists and as voters. As a result of the midterms, at least 125 women will serve in the U.S. House and Senate and at least nine women will become governors. While the numbers measure important gains for women, we've also seen significant successes from this election that transcend the numbers and portend continued growth for women's representation. Here are four ways Election 2018 was a success for women... CONTINUE READING
Analysis from CAWP Scholar Kelly Dittmar in the The Los Angeles Times
Senator-elect Jacky Rosen on election night (photo credit: John Locher/AP)
A record number of women were elected in the midterm, but we're nowhere near gender parity in Congress

When Congress convenes in January 2019, less than 25% of its members will be women.

That might come as a surprise to readers who have absorbed the narrative that 2018 is a "Year of the Woman" in American politics. .. CONTINUE READING
Experts Weigh in on 2018 Election Results for #GenderWatch2018 
So many numbers this year, y'all. Go behind the 2018 midterm numbers with the team of expert contributors to Gender Watch 2018, more than two dozen of whom offer brief analyses of the 2018 midterms. How did women fare overall? How much more work remains to be done? How does partisan preference interact with gender? What's happening with the new bellwether group, college-educated white women? How do we keep the momentum going? And, finally, numerous writers in the group point to the gains made by women of color this year, as well as the historical foundations of those gains, and where women of color go from here. To read through these analyses, head over to Gender Watch 2018.

CAWP in the News

With the midterm elections producing so much to talk about for women and politics, journalists spent a lot of time over the past week talking to the Center for American Women and Politics. Here's a sampling.

Debbie Walsh spoke to WBUR in Boston for their show Here & Now to discuss an overview of the midterms as well as some notable races. Walsh also spoke to The Los Angeles Times about the disparities in women's representation between the two major political parties, and to HuffPost about the challenges women continue to face in seeking executive offices.

Kelly Dittmar appeared on the WNYC podcast United States of Anxiety for a roundtable discussion of election results preceding an episode devoted to Dolores Huerta. Dittmar appeared as well on an episode of WHYY's The Why to discuss the midterm results and the history of women running for office. She spoke to The Washington Post about the ways in which women candidates played a crucial role in flipping the partisan balance of the House and to Roll Call about the next Congress having the largest incoming class of new women representatives in history.

Jean Sinzdak, meanwhile, spoke to The Christian Science Monitor and The Financial Times about how this political moment came to be, and how the Center began seeing surging enthusiasm from women engaging in politics almost immediately after the 2016 election. Susan J. Carroll, a senior scholar at CAWP, spoke to Vox about recent shifts in women's voting patterns, and she discussed with Celeste Katz of Glamour her preliminary analysis of the women's vote in 2018. Kira Sanbonmatsu, another of CAWP's senior scholars, spoke with The Detroit Free Press about how the 2018 midterms followed from the 2016 elections.

With all of the attention paid to women candidates, our friends at Gender Avenger  did an interesting analysis of TV election night coverage and found that, even on panels that were majority-women or with an equal gender breakdown, men took up the vast majority of speaking time. Wonder what implications that might have for how women candidates are covered.................?

Center for American Women and Politics
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