{[ promptMessage ]}

Bookmark it

{[ promptMessage ]}

Carroll+and+Fox+Ch+7+9.20.10

Carroll+and+Fox+Ch+7+9.20.10 - r 86 Wendy G 33 34 35 36 37...

Info icon This preview shows pages 1–12. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Image of page 1

Info icon This preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
Image of page 3

Info icon This preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Image of page 4
Image of page 5

Info icon This preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Image of page 6
Image of page 7

Info icon This preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Image of page 8
Image of page 9

Info icon This preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Image of page 10
Image of page 11

Info icon This preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Image of page 12
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Unformatted text preview: r 86 Wendy G. Smooth 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 4O 41 Campaigns: A Model of Black Candidate Success in Statewide Elections. Ps- I Political Science and Politics 25: 204-12. Center for American Women and Politics. 2009. Fact Sheet. Women of Color _ in Elective Office 2009. <http://www.cawp.rutgers.edu/fastiacts/levelsgof : office/documents/color.pdf> July 31, 2009. See Center for American Women and Politics. Women of Color in Elected 37 Office Fact Sheets for 1998 and 2009. <http://www.cawp.rutgersedu/fast ’ I, facts/levels_of_office/documents/color.pdf> July 31, 2009. See Center for American Women and Politics. African American Women in ' 3 Electoral Politics. <http://www.cawp.rutgers.edu/fastacts/women.of_color/ FastFactsAfricanAmericanWomeninOffice.php> July 31, 2009. Donna Edwards was elected in a special election in June 2008 to complete the term of the incumbent, Albert Wynn. Wynn resigned to accept a position as a lobbyist following his defeat by Edwards during the February Democratic Party primary. Edwards went on to win her first full congressional term during the November general election. Rosaland Helderman, William Warm, and Ovetta Wiggins. February 14, 2008. Rare Dual Losses in Maryland Put Incumbents on Notice. Washington Post. Bernard Grofman and Chandler Davidson, eds. 1992. Controversies in Minorin Voting: The Voting Rights Act. New York: Cambridge University Press. Tate 2003. Irwin N. Gertzog. 2002. Women’s Changing Pathways to the U.S. House of Representatives: Widows, Elites, and Strategic Politicians. In Women Transform- ing Congress, ed. Cindy Simon Rosenthal. Norman: Oklahoma University Press 9 5—1 18. Joyce Jones. January 2004. The Future PAC. Black Enterprise. Robin M. Bennefield. July/ August 2004. Women Join Forces to Support Black Female Politicians. Crisis (The New) 111212. See the Black Women’s Roundtable (BWR), a part of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation at <http://www.bigvote.org/bwr.htm> February 20, 2005. "tr-‘waw'rrwzm—zwWNW, . xwemquwvrwgwmcwmw RICHARD L FOX" m, .mwrnmttt‘wy'inwflflcrmw... .. Mammy; a 7 Congressional Elections Women’s Candidacies and the Road to Gender Parity After losing in the midterm congressional elections in 2002, Democratic Party House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt announced that he would be stepping down. Immediately thereafter, California Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, who had been in Congress since 1987 and was serving as the Democratic whip, announced her candidacy. Pelosi quickly dis- patched vvith two male rivals for the position and was elected to the post of minority leader. After Pelosi officially assumed the position, the Chris- tian Science Monitor proclaimed in a headline: "Pelosi shatters a Marble Ceiling.”1 The selection of Pelosi was truly historic, as she was the first woman in the 216-year history of the U.S. Congress to head one of the major parties. Although Pelosi was well known on Capitol Hill, an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released right after her election found that 61 percent of the public was not sure who she was.2 But women's rights advocates were generally thrilled with the selection of Pelosi. Peg Yorkin, cofounder of the Feminist Majority Foundation noted, "Suddenly, in the midst of all those essentially gray, white men in the Republican leader- ship, you’ve got a friendly, intelligent, warm woman who doesn’t stand on ceremony. . . . It’s going to be something.”3 Pelosi continued as minor- ity leader after the 2004 elections, which saw the Republicans retain con— trol of the White House and both houses of Congress. The political winds shifted mightily in the 2006 midterm elections as the public, having lost patience with the war in Iraq and express- ing concerns about the direction of the country, returned the Democrats to power in both the House and Senate for the first time since 1994. With this election, Nancy Pelosi was elevated to the position of Speaker of the House, becoming the highest-ranking woman elected official in * Iwould like to thank Ellen Hou for assistance in data collection. 187 188 Richard L. Fox US. history. The public face of Congress was no longer only that of men. Pelosi herself, in a speech right before the election, commented on her rise to be Speaker: "It says to women everywhere that...anythjng is possible/’4 After 2008, the Democrats increased their numbers in both houses, and Pelosi appears to have a potentially long run as House speaker ahead. It is, of course, much too soon to determine how successful a trailblazer Pelosi will be as speaker. She has been a controversial figure, castigated by Republicans as a San Francisco liberal out of touch with the values of the country. In a Gallup Poll right after the 2008 election, 42 percent of the public had a favorable view of her, and 41 percent had a negatiVe view.5 Regardless, Pelosi’s ascension to the top congressional leadership role marks a dramatic breakthrough and the dismantling of one more glass ceiling in US. politics. Despite the success of Nancy Pelosi, women’s journey toward gen- der parity in the US. Congress remains a slow process. In fact, recent elections can be viewed as a disappointment in terms of the progress of women candidates. Gains in Congress have been in very small incre- ments, and one of the major political parties has actually been putting forward fewer and fewer women candidates. Further, the 2006 election reveals that electoral environments and strategies can still be very gen- dered enterprises. After disappointing losses in the 2002 and 2004 elections, the Demo- crats made a push to recruit and run more military veterans, responding to the perceived advantage Republicans had in claiming they could keep Americans safe in the post~9/ ll era. The New York Times reporters James Dao and Adam Nagourney summarized the strategy: "For Democrats struggling to win back Congress, . . . [this was] the most obvious of elec~ tion strategies: erase the Republican advantage on national security by running real—life combat veterans as candidates.”6 In the end, fifty—three veterans, forty from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, emerged as Demo- cratic challengers to run for open seats or to take on Republican incum- bents. Out of this group, only two were women.7 The recruitment of military veterans to demonstrate the image of toughness is a strategy that precludes many women from running, because only 15 percent of active-duty personnel are women and only 6 percent of veterans are women.8 Further, this strategy plays into gen- der stereotypes that masculinity and aggressiveness are the best symbols to exude toughness in times of military conflict. Did the strategy to run war veterans work? The results were mixed, but many women candidates, including the Iraq War veteran Tammy l- t} i s. E, ‘ w Congressional Elections 189 Duckworth, running in Illinois’ Sixth District, lost close races. Many were predicting big gains for women House candidates in the 2006 elections, with the veteran political forecaster Larry Sabato asserting that women would gain a minimum of nine seats in the House, making it the best Single—year gain for women since 1992.9 Sabato was wrong, as women lost close races around the country and netted only four new seats. A number of analysts pointed to the masculine “get tough” electoral atmo- sphere as among the reasons women underperformed. As the stories of Nancy Pelosi’s rise to the House speakership and the use of veterans in the 2006 midterm elections illustrate, the opportuni- ties and difficulties facing women candidates are multifaceted. Women are making tremendous strides in electoral politics, but they continue to face many challenges that have plagued women’s candidacies through- out modern U.S. electoral history. This chapter examines the evolution of women’s candidacies for Congress and the role gender continues to play in congressional elections. Ultimately, I focus on one fundamental ques— tion: why are there still so few women serving in the House and Senate? In exploring the persistence of gender as a factor in congressional elec- tions, I divide the chapter into three sections. In the first section, I offer a brief historical overview of the role of gender in congressional elections. The second section compares male and female candidates’ electoral per- formance and success in House and Senate races through the 2008 elec— tions. The results of this analysis confirm that, when considered in the aggregate, the electoral playing field has become largely level for women and men. In the final section of the chapter, 1 provide some answers as to why, in that case, so few women are in Congress. Here, I turn to the subtler ways that gender continues to affect congressional elections. The combination of gendered geographic trends, women’s presence in differ- ent types of congressional races, the lack of women running as Repub- licans, and the gender gap in political ambition suggests that gender is playing an important role in congressional elections. THE HlSTORlCAL EVOLUTION OF WOMEN’S CANDIDAClES FOR CONGRESS Throughout the 1990s, women made significant strides competing for and Winning seats in the US Congress. The 1992 elections, often referred to as the “Year of the Woman,” resulted not only in an historic increase in the number of women in both the House and the Senate but also in the promise of movement toward some semblance of gender parity in our political institutions (see Table 7.1). After all, in the history of the 190 Richard L. FOX TABLE 7.1: Over time, more Democraticwo’men than Republican women havé‘efhergediéngoiise tandidate‘sfanaWinners: ' ' ' ' r -- t 4 1970 1980 1990 1992 2000 2004 2006 72503 General election candidates Democratic women 15 27 39 70 80 88 95 95 Republican women 10 25 30 36 42 53 42 38 Total women 25 52 69 106 122 141 137 133 General election winners Democratic women 10 1 1 19 35 41 43 SO 58 Percentageofall 3.9 4.5 7.1 13.6 19.4 21.4 21.5 22.6 Democratic winners Republican women 3 1O 9 12 18 23 21 17 Percentage ofall 1.7 5.2 ' 5.4 6.8 8.1 9.9 10.4 96 Republican winners Note: Except where noted, entries represent the raw number of women candidates and winners for each year. Source: Center for American Women and Politics, 2008 Fact Sheets, http://www.cawp .rutgers.edu/fast_facts/index.php. U.S. Congress, there have been more than 11,600 male representatives but only 255 female representatives (see Figure 7.1). Only thirty-eight women have ever served in the U.S. Senate, nineteen of whom either were appointed or won special elections. However, the gains of 1992 were not repeated at a steady pace. Cur- rently, 83 percent of the members of the U.S. Senate and 83 percent of the members of the U.S. House are male. This places the United States eighty—fifth worldwide in terms of the proportion of women serving in the national legislature, a ranking far behind that of many other demo- cratic governments.10 Further, the overwhelming majority of the women elected to Congress have been white. Of the 75 (out of 435) women elected to the U.S. House in the 2008 election, there are 12 African Amer— icans, 7 Latinas, and 2 Asian Pacific—Pacific Islander Americans. There are no women of color among the seventeen women currently serving in the U.S. Senate. The continued dearth of women in Congress suggests that a masculine ethos, ever present across the history of Congress, still permeates the con- gressional electoral environment. A host of interrelated factors — money, familiarity with power brokers, political experience, and support from . Manmmymmwy, w. mam-NA Congressional Elections 191 Figure 7_1: Historical gender disparities in congressional representation. D Since 1789 only 2% of members of Congress have been women. 255 2% Males 1 1 ,648 Females 98% (as of January 2009) Note: Figure includes both House and Senate members. Source: Center for American Women and Politics, 2009 Fact Sheet. the political parties — all contribute to a winning campaign. Traditional candidates are members of the political or economic elite. Most emerge from lower-level elected offices or work in their communities, typically in law or business. They tend to receive encouragement to run for office from influential members of the community, party officials, or outgo- ing incumbents. And these same elites who encourage candidacies also contribute money to campaigns and hold fund-raisers. This process has been in place for most of the recent history of congressional candida- cies and, for obvious reasons, has served men well and women very poorly. . Because they have been excluded from their cornmunities’ economic and political elites throughout much of the twentieth century, women’s paths to Congress often take different forms. Widows of congressmen who died in office dominated the first wave of successful female can- didates. Between 1916 and 1964, twenty-eight of the thirty-two widows nominated to fill their husbands' seats won their elections, for a victory rate of 88 percent. Across the same time period, only 32 of the 199 non- widows who garnered their parties’ nominations were elected (a 14 per- cent victory rate).11 Overall, roughly half the women who served in the House in this time period were widows. Congressional widows were the one type of woman candidate who was readily acceptable to party leaders at this time. 192 Richard L. Fox _ The 19605 and 1970s marked the emergence of a second type of we. man candidate — one who turned her attention from Civic Volunteerism to politics. A few women involved in grassroots community politics rode their activism to Washington. Notable figures who pursued this path include Patsy Mink in Hawaii, elected in 1964; Shirley Chisholm in New York, elected in 1968; Bella Abzug in New York, elected in 1970; and Pat Schroeder in Colorado and Barbara Jordan in Texas, both elected in 1 972. We are currently in the third and possibly final stage of the evolution of women's candidacies. The prevailing model of running for Congress is far less rigid. The combination of decreased political party power and growing media influence facilitates the emergence of a more diverse array of candidates competing successfully for their parties’ nominations. Con- verging with this less rigid path is an increase in the number of women who now fit the profile of a “traditional” candidate. Women's presence in the fields of business and law has dramatically increased. Further, the number of women serving in state legislatures, a springboard to Congress, has roughly tripled since 1975 (although it is important to note that women's presence in the state governments has stalled in recent elec- tions; for more on this, see Kira Sanbonmatsu’s Chapter 10 in this vol- ume). Together, these developments help to explain why the eligibility pool of prospective women candidates grew substantially throughout the 1990s. Despite the growth in the number of eligible women who could run for Congress, the most recent congressional election cycles indicate that women's progress has continued only in fits and starts. The 2002 elec- tions marked the first time since 1994 that women did not increase their presence in the House. Women had a relatively good year in the 2004 elections, gaining eight House seats. In 2006 and 2008, there were more modest gains for women, with net increases of four and three new House members, respectively. In the Senate, the rate of increase has been just as slow, With a net increase of four women over the past five election cycles. Perhaps more important, though, there has not been a steady increase in the number of women filing to run for Congress. In 2006 and 2008, slightly more than two hundred women filed to run for the U.S. House of Representatives; more women sought office in the 1992 and 1996 House elections. Similar patterns exist for U.S. Senate races. A record twelve women won their party’s U.S. Senate nominations in 2006, but the num- ber dropped to a mere seven candidates in 2008. Table 7:1 presents the number of women candidates who won their party nominations and ran r w, gMWtram»?v:wV‘7‘Kwdox'm'iwfi'i‘t‘fwwrwwfia ,, l; I ‘ Congre ssional Elections 193 , in House general elections from 1970 through 2008. Although there has been steady, albeit slow, growth in the number of women running in General election races over the past thirty years, the only dramaticsmgle- ;ear jump occurred in 1992. The 2004 election did set a record, With 141 Women candidates Winning their party nominations for House seats. But to put this number into perspective, it is helpful to recognize that more than 675 male candidates garnered their parties’ normnations. Thenum- ber of major-party nominees has actually come down a little bit the past two election cycles. An important factor illustrated in Table 7.1 is the divergent paths of the Democratic and Republican parties..The Democrats have been on a slow and steady path, continually increasing the number of women candidates and winners. The Republicans, in contrast, have put forward significantly fewer women over the past two election cycles, and the percentage of women in the Republican House delegation has declined in the past two electoral cycles. Overall, the historical evolution of women’s candidacies demonstrates that we are in a period of increasing opportunities for women candidates, yet progress is very slow. From this point, we turn our attention to exam- ining the potential challenges that are facing women candidates, focusing on the question of why there continue to be so few women elected to the U.S. Congress. MEN AND WOMEN RUNNING FOR CONGRESS: THE GENERAL INDICATORS In assessing why so few women serve in Congress, most researchers have turned to key election statistics and compared female and male congres— sional candidates. Turning first to overt voter bias against women candi— dates, the research is mixed. In a series of experimental studies in which participants are presented with a hypothetical match—up between men and women candidates, researchers have identified bias against women.12 But studies that focus on actual vote totals fail to uncover evidence of bias.13 Barbara Burrell, a contributor to this volume, concluded in an ear- lier study that candidates’ sex accounts for less than 1 percent of the variation in the vote for House candidates from 1968 to 1992. Kathy Dolan, who carried out a comprehensive 2004 study of patterns in gen- der and voting, concluded that candidates’ sex is a relevant factor only in rare electoral circumstances.14 Jennifer Lawless and Kathryn Pearson, in an analysis of congressional primary elections between 1958 and 2004, found that women candidates are more likely to face more crowded 194 Richard L, F0 TABLE 7.2:. :Women House{candidates,:haVe-similar I voteshare‘s‘forzooe and_20035"“ '* ’ ‘ 5' ” 2006 2008 Women Men Women Men % % % % Democrats Incumbents 74 75 72* 67 (44) (146) (43) (143) Challengers 41 38 40* 37 (45) (154) (35) (122) Open seats 62* 50 51 49 (12) (25) (10) (26) Republicans Incumbents 56* 61 58 60 (23) (182) (17) (140) Challengers 29 29 31 30 (16) (134) (19) (167) Open seats 45 49 47 47 (7) (30) (2) (34) Notes: Candidates running unopposed are omitted from these results. Entries indicate mean vote share won. Parentheses indicate the total number of candidates for each category. Significance levels: *p < .05; difference of means test. Source: Compiled from New York Times listing of election results. and competitive primaries, though they did not find evidence of voter bias.IS If we look at the perfonnance of men and women in House elec- tions in 2006 and 2008, we arrive at a similar conclusion. The data pre- sented in Table 7.2 confirm that there is no Widespread voter bias against women candidates. In the most recent House races, women and men fared similarly in terms of raw vote totals. In fact, Democratic women running for open seats in 2006 and as incumbe...
View Full Document

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern