March 30, 2021
From the nation's leading source on all things women and politics.
The Full Story of the 2020 Elections 
Last week, CAWP released its definitive after-action report on the 2020 elections, Measuring Success: Women in 2020 Legislative Elections. As all of our regular readers know, 2020 was another record-breaking year for women in Congress and state legislatures, but Measuring Success goes deeper into the data and also provides answers to questions about why women ran and how they did so successfully in 2020. Here are just a few highlights from the report:

  • Women of color made history in 2020, including the first three Korean-American women elected to Congress.
  • In both 2018 and 2020, women won the majority of U.S. House seats that flipped partisan control.
  • Republican women rebounded from 2018 losses to new record highs.
  • Women candidates reimagined candidacy and proved they aren’t monolithic.
  • Some campaign strategies women adopted in 2020 revealed persistent gender and intersectional biases in electoral politics.
  • Many Republican women presented themselves in direct contrast with progressive women of color who first won office in 2018.

Read the full report here and find a data repository of all data visualizations here. CAWP’s Director of Research Kelly Dittmar is hosting a series of Instagram Live conversations about the report with VIEW PACs Julie Conway, A’shanti Gholar of Emerge America, Representative Marilyn Strickland, and Amanda Becker of The 19th News. Follow CAWP on Instagram to see upcoming live conversations and view recordings of previous sessions with Julie Conway and A’shanti Gholar.
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NEW Leadership® 2021 Coming Up!
CAWP’s education program for college-aged women is accepting applications for our 2021 cohort through April 26th! This year’s program has been converted to an all-virtual format and will be co-hosted by NEW Leadership® National Network partners in more than 15 states. The summer institute will be held for five days over the course of two weeks: June 9th and 10th, and June 14th, 15th, and 16th. Students from around the country will participate in a series of engaging virtual sessions and will have access to online resources; those participating in New Jersey will also receive a Susan N. Wilson NEW Leadership® New Jersey care package and a daily food delivery gift card to defray the cost of their meals during the program. Pending the reopening of Rutgers University, students in New Jersey will have the opportunity to attend a one-day, in-person, NEW Leadership® program in the Fall 2021 semester at the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. Learn more about NEW Leadership® 2021, including application and participation information from our partner programs here. Submit an application for NEW Leadership® New Jersey here.
Updates: Women in State Legislative Leadership
The data team at CAWP has updated our fact sheet for women in state legislative leadership following the 2020 elections. These positions include speakers of state houses, presidents of state senates, majority and minority leaders, and other similar positions, depending on the state’s legislative leadership structure. In 2021, of the 350 state legislators holding these positions nationwide, 90, or 25.7%, are women. Women hold 39, or 24.1%, of the 162 leadership positions in state senates and 51, or 27.1%, of the 188 leadership positions in state houses. Women hold leadership positions in 31 state senates and in 32 state houses; in 9 states, women do not hold leadership positions in either chamber. Find out more at Women in State Legislative Leadership 2021.
Biden Cabinet Officially Sets Record for Women 
With U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai’s confirmation on March 17th, all women nominees to Cabinet and Cabinet-level positions in the Biden administration have been confirmed and are serving. Including Vice President Kamala Harris, there are 11 women serving in the Biden Cabinet, breaking the record of nine concurrently-serving women Cabinet-level officials, set more than two decades ago during the second Clinton administration. Learn more about the women serving in Cabinet-level and other high-level positions in the Biden administration via our High Level Presidential Appointments page and the history of women in the Cabinet at our Women Appointed to Presidential Cabinets fact sheet.
Campaign Training with the Center for Youth Political Participation and NEWL
Join the Center for Youth Political Participation and NEW Leadership® for the final session in their campaign training collaboration, RU Running? Political Campaign Training! This series offers virtual political campaign training for young adults interested in running for public office or serving on a campaign. Participants will gain campaign skills and networking opportunities with political operatives and young elected leaders from around the country. Session III will consist of breakout sessions on various topics of political campaigns, including digital strategies, mentorship, networking, and fundraising, and will feature panelists Katie Castellano, former NJGOP finance director, T. Missy Balmir, co-owner of Thorough Planning and adjunct faculty at the Eagleton Institute of Politics, and Zoë Williamson, program coordinator, Students Learn, Students Vote Coalition, in conversation with student moderators. Registration is now open!
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