September 18, 2018
A newsletter to keep you informed about all things women and politics from the Center for American Women and Politics, Rutgers University.

Women Make History in the 2018 Primaries
Last week, federal and state primaries drew to a close, with women making historic strides towards greater representation. In U.S. House races, 235 women (183D, 52R) have won House nominations, up from the record of 167 (120D, 47R) set in 2016. Meanwhile, in the U.S. Senate, 22 women (15D, 7R) won Senate primaries this year, beating 2012's record of 18 (12D, 6R). 16 (12D, 4R) women won gubernatorial nominations in 2018, up from a previous record of 10 (6D, 3R, 1 Ind.), first set in 1994. In addition, 3379 women were nominated for state legislative seats around the country. For additional information and data on the 2018 primary, see our press releases for federal and state primaries, as well as summary pages of both federal and state primaries featuring greater detail and data visualizations.
Record Number of Women of Color Win Nominations in 2018
Another new record has been set in an already record-bursting primary season in 2018. According to CAWP data, more women of color have won nominations for U.S. House than in any other year. This year, 80 women of color have secured nominations in U.S. House races. The previous record, set in 2016, was 55. A complete breakdown of women candidates by racial and ethnic identity, as well as partisan breakdowns and women of color as a proportion of all women candidates, can be viewed in chart form at CAWP's post-primary summary page, By the Numbers: Women Congressional Candidates in 2018.
A Seat at the Table Book Talk on October 29th 
On October 29th at 6:00 pm, Kelly Dittmar, Kira Sanbonmatsu, and Susan J. Carroll will appear for a discussion of their new book A Seat at the Table: Congresswomen's Perspectives on Why Their Presence Matters here at the Eagleton Institute of Politics on the Rutgers-New Brunswick campus. The book, which draws from interviews with over three-quarters of the women in the 114th Congress, tells the story of how women officeholders affect the institutions in which they serve, from policy priorities to organizational behavior.  Check out the authors'  new piece at CNN  for highlights from the book.

The talk will be from 6:00 to 7:30 pm and will be preceded by a reception at 5:30 pm.  The event is free and open to the public, but you must register here.
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Save the Date: Women of Power Reception 
Women of Power Reception 2018 Attendees
On Monday, February 25th, CAWP will host its annual Women of Power networking reception to benefit the Center's nonpartisan leadership programs. The event will be held at Marsilio's Kitchen in West Trenton, New Jersey. You can also add your name to the Women of Power Host Committee today by signing up here. Host Committee members receive special recognition during the reception in February, on promotional materials, in the printed program booklet, on CAWP's website, and at Ready to Run® in March and NEW Leadership™ in June.
Kelly Dittmar to Moderate Pennsylvania Candidate Forum 
Forum Participants
On Thursday, September 27th, CAWP's Kelly Dittmar will moderate a candidate forum hosted by Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania featuring six of the women nominated for U.S. House seats in the 2018 election: Bibiana Boerio (D), Pearl Kim (R), Susan Boser (D), Chrissy Houlahan (D), Madeleine Dean (D), and Mary Gay Scanlon (D). The forum is intended as an in-depth discussion of why it matters to have women running for national office, issues and strategies that these candidates have addressed in developing and running their campaigns, and legislative and policy implications of electing more women to represent Pennsylvania and to serve in Congress. Pennsylvania is the largest state in the country with no women in their current congressional delegation. Click here for more information and to register for the event.

CNN's Brooke Baldwin Creates "American Woman in Politics" Series
CNN journalist and anchor Brooke Baldwin has created a series covering women on the campaign trail in 2018,  American Woman in Politics . The series, which uses CAWP data to tell the broader narrative of 2018, sees Baldwin following candidates on the trail and interviewing them about what their candidacies mean for 2018 and beyond. Segments so far focus on women of color running for office, candidate recruitment, policy priorities, and the history of women at the polls. "Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman to be elected to US Congress, once famously said that 'If they don't give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair,'" Baldwin writes, "Watch these episodes. Be inspired. Rise up. Act. Soon enough, you won't need to bother with a folding chair."

Swung Vote
As the primaries wound down and the general election gears up, news organizations are beginning to focus on a group of voters whose preference in 2018 may move the needle on the midterms: college educated women. The Hill writes about this demographic mirroring the current increase in women candidates, and their greater propensity to show up at the polls, combined with a backlash to the Trump administration, may prove determinative. As CAWP scholar Susan J. Carroll is quoted in the article, "Normally, this demographic is pretty evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats. But recent polls show they are moving in a very Democratic direction. If there is a wave, these women will be a big part of the story." In The Atlantic , Ronald Brownstein writes about the growing power of the college-educated woman voter, and also notes, using CAWP data, that Trump is alienating white-collar women just as the Democratic party is nominating record numbers of women that appeal to their precise concerns. This discussion is just beginning -- there is more reporting still in the field on this topic that CAWP has consulted on -- but women voters may end up being as much a part of the story of 2018 as women candidates.
Chicago Style
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's surprise announcement that he would not seek a new term opened the field and could pave the way to Chicago having its first Black woman in its executive office. The Chicago Tribune notes that three of the candidates already in the race are women of color, Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown, former Police Board President Lori Lightfoot and policy consultant Amara Enyia, and Toni Preckwinkle, President of the Cook County Board of Commissioners, could join the race as well. Per CAWP data, cited in the article, 10 of the top 100 largest cities in the U.S. have women of color as mayors. Mother Jones writes that Lightfoot had been seen as a serious challenge to Emanuel, with her focus on progressive economic policy and focus on criminal justice reform, but with the seat open, other powerful women of color like Preckwinkle and State Comptroller Susana Mendoza could upend her frontrunner status. A woman of color serving as Chicago mayor wouldn't only be a first for the city -- Chicago would become the largest city in the country to have had a woman of color in the executive's office.

Mom on the Run
Women are changing the way they're running this year, pushing back against the conventional wisdom about how they're "supposed" to run and taking control of their narratives. Women candidates are talking about personal hardship, telling their #MeToo stories, and opening windows into their private lives. Above all else, women are sending the message that motherhood shouldn't be any more impediment to running for office than fatherhood. In The New York Times , Kate Zernike writes about women turning what has traditionally been seen as an anchor into a headwind, making motherhood into a strength. Meanwhile, New York attorney general candidate Zephyr Teachout, a rare candidate to run while pregnant, released a striking ad during the final days of her ultimately unsuccessful campaign, in which she invited voters to share her ultrasound visit and shaping the ad into a discussion of what her child's future will look like.

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