February 01, 2022
From the nation's leading source on all things women and politics.
Time to Get Ready to Run®
For the third year in a row, CAWP’s flagship Ready to Run® program in New Jersey will be held as a series of virtual events. The series kicks off on February 11th with What Women Candidates Need to Know, featuring Celinda Lake of Lake Research Partners, who will provide skill-building information around public opinion research on women candidates, including key findings on how women candidates are perceived during times of crisis, the advantages and disadvantages facing women running for office, the likeability vs. qualifications conundrum, and messages that are convincing to voters to support women candidates. She'll also discuss the support that women need and how to respond to sexist media coverage. On February 16th, a keynote panel will feature the three first Asian American women elected to the New Jersey Legislature, Assemblywomen Shama Haider, Sadaf Jaffer, and Ellen Park, who were all elected in the 2021 election. Moderated by Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter, the panel will discuss this important moment, why they chose to run now, the importance of having diverse voices at the policymaking table, and what this means for women in New Jersey moving forward.

Register for these programs and see the full schedule on the Ready to Run® 2022 Virtual Series page on the CAWP website.
CAWP’s 2022 State Legislature Rankings
Following the 2021 election, both New Jersey and Virginia made significant gains in the CAWP ranking of states by women’s representation in state legislatures. These gains also contributed to a very slight increase in women’s total share of state legislative seats around the country; women now hold 31.3% of these seats, up from 31.1% in 2021. Women hold less than one-third of all state legislative seats, as they do at every level of office we study, from Congress to municipalities.

New Jersey moved from the 26th spot in our state rankings to the 17th following the 2021 election, and women now hold 34.2% of seats in the state legislature. Women picked up 5 seats in the New Jersey Assembly, but lost 1 Senate seat, for a net gain of 4 seats from 2021 to 2022. Women now hold 41 seats in the New Jersey Legislature, 31 in the Assembly, and 10 in the Senate. Meanwhile, Virginia moved from the 28th spot to the 21st, and women now hold 33.6% of seats in the Virginia General Assembly (the state’s full legislature). Women gained 4 seats in the Virginia House of Delegates (the state’s lower chamber) in the 2021 election and an additional seat in a special election in January to fill a vacancy, for a net increase of 5 seats in 2022 compared to 2021. The Virginia Senate did not have elections in 2021. Women now hold 47 seats in the General Assembly, 36 in the House of Delegates, and 11 in the Senate.

The overall state rankings remain largely unchanged in 2022, with both the top 10 and bottom 10 states identical to 2021, with the small caveat that Washington State moved out of an 8th place tie with Arizona and into the 9th position. The top 10 and bottom 10 states for women’s share of total state legislative seats are:
TOP 10:
Nevada (58.7%)
Oregon (45.6%)
Rhode Island (44.2%)
Maine (44.1%)
Colorado (44%)
New Mexico (43.8%)
Maryland (43.6%)
Arizona (43.3%)
Washington (42.2%)
Vermont (41.7%)
Arkansas (23%)
North Dakota (22.7%)
Oklahoma (20.8%)
Louisiana (19.4%)
Wyoming (17.8%)
Alabama (17.1%)
South Carolina (17.1%)
Tennessee (16.7%)
Mississippi (15.5%)
West Virginia (13.4%)

See how your state ranks at our Women in State Legislatures 2022 fact sheet and find more historical context and current data on your state at our State-by-State Information interactive map.
Women Voters and the Utility of Campaigning as “Women of Color”
New from CAWP Senior Scholar Kira Sanbonmatsu and co-authors Stacey Greene and Yalidy Matos in the Journal of Women, Politics & Policy, “Women Voters and the Utility of Campaigning as ‘Women of Color’” explores survey data to analyze voter reactions to the women of color identity among Black women, Latinas, and white women. The research looks into whether women are aware of the term and whether they place value on the election of women of color, and it also conducts an experiment to discover whether women’s evaluations of Kamala Harris are affected by a women of color frame. “Research about public support for candidates who self-identify as WOC,” the paper argues, “is necessary to fully understand the opportunities and challenges of electing more diverse women to public office.” Read the full article in a special edition of the Journal of Women, Politics, & Policy devoted to scholarship on women of color political elites in the United States.
Yamiche Alcindor Gives Her First Take on Breyer Retirement to CAWP Crowd 
News of Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer’s potential retirement broke during CAWP’s Senator Wynona Lipman Chair in Women’s Political Leadership lecture with PBS and NBC journalist Yamiche Alcindor, so the audience of the event was treated to her very first reaction to the news. During the 2020 presidential campaign, President Joe Biden pledged to nominate the first Black woman to the Supreme Court, and Alcindor noted this promise and told the Lipman crowd, “It will be a transformational moment to have a Black woman on the Supreme Court.”

Indeed. As we have seen with historic appointees like Thurgood Marshall, Sandra Day O’Connor, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, and Sonia Sotomayor, these jurists bring not only their intellect and breadth of legal knowledge to the Court, but they also arrive with a set of life experiences that guide their understanding of the law and the way it affects people in the real world that are crucial to the creation of a more perfect union. We’re intrigued to see what this nomination process will bring forth. Read more about the potential nominees at The New York Times.
Join Us!
We’re looking for a research project coordinator to assist scholars and staff on major research projects, including engagement with scholarly literature, data collection, qualitative and quantitative analyses (including analysis of large datasets), research project planning and data visualization. They will also have the opportunity to contribute to our reports, research memos, and blogs. This role offers great potential to expand our data collections, find new areas of research to explore, and assist experienced scholars in producing reports that illuminate areas of women’s representation that are little-understood. Do you have an advanced degree with a focus in political science, public policy, or women and gender studies and a desire to work with the leading source for data and research on women’s political engagement in America? Find more information and apply on the Rutgers University employment site — but time is running out! This job posting will close on February 4th.
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