Skip to main content
×
Home

Do Parties Know That “Women Win”? Party Leader Beliefs about Women's Electoral Chances

  • Kira Sanbonmatsu (a1)
Abstract

Women's groups emphasize the view that women are viable candidates in American politics with the popular slogan “when women run, women win.” What do party leaders believe about women's electoral chances? Do parties know that “women win”? In an analysis of state legislative election results, I find few gender differences in candidates' vote share and success rates—two widely used measures of the status of women candidates. Yet I find that many party leaders report that one gender has an electoral advantage. These party leader perceptions are related to the objective measures of women's electoral success to some extent. However, most analyses reveal a gap between elite perceptions and objective measures of women's status as candidates. This disjuncture suggests that scholars may have overestimated the extent of party leader and voter support for women.I thank Timothy Frye, Claudine Gay, Kathryn Pearson, Beth Reingold, Lisa Sanbonmatsu, the editors, and the anonymous reviewers for helpful comments. I also thank Nanaho Hanada, Heidi Bruns, Lyndsey Young, Huma Khan, and Tina Pierce for research assistance.

Copyright
References
Hide All

References

Aldrich, John H. 2000. “Southern Parties in the State and Nation.” Journal of Politics 63 (August): 64370.
Arceneaux, Kevin. 2001. “The ‘Gender Gap’ in State Legislative Representation: New Data to Tackle an Old Question.” Political Research Quarterly 54 (March): 14360.
Brace, Paul, Kellie Sims-Butler, Kevin Arceneaux, and Martin Johnson. 2002. “Public Opinion in the American States: New Perspectives Using National Survey Data.” American Journal of Political Science 46 (January): 17389.
Burrell, Barbara C. 1994. A Woman's Place Is in the House: Campaigning for Congress in the Feminist Era. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Carey, John M., Richard G. Niemi, and Lynda W. Powell. 2000. Term Limits in the State Legislatures. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Carroll, Susan J. 1994. Women as Candidates in American Politics. 2d ed. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
Caul, Miki. 1999. “Women's Representation in Parliament: The Role of Political Parties.” Party Politics 5 (January): 7998.
CAWP (Center for American Women, and Politics). 2005a. “Women in State Legislatures 2005.” Fact sheet. National Information Bank on Women in Public Office, Eagleton Institute of Politics. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University.
CAWP (Center for American Women, and Politics). 2005b. “Women in the U.S. Congress 2005.” Fact sheet. National Information Bank on Women in Public Office, Eagleton Institute of Politics. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University.
Clark, Janet, R. Darcy, Susan Welch, and Margery Ambrosius. 1984. “Women as Legislative Candidates in Six States.” In Political Women: Current Roles in State and Local Government, ed. Janet Flammang. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage, 14155.
Cook, Elizabeth Adell. 1998. “Voter Reaction to Women Candidates.” In Women and Elective Office: Past, Present, and Future, ed. Sue Thomas and Clyde Wilcox. New York: Oxford University Press, 5672.
Darcy, R., and Sarah Slavin Schramm. 1977. “When Women Run Against Men.” Public Opinion Quarterly 41 (March): 112.
Darcy, R., Susan Welch, and Janet Clark. 1994. Women, Elections, and Representation. 2d ed. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.
Diamond, Irene. 1977. Sex Roles in the State House. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Dolan, Kathleen. 2004. Voting for Women: How the Public Evaluates Women Candidates. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.
Erikson, Robert S., Gerald C. Wright, and John P. McIver. 1993. Statehouse Democracy: Public Opinion and Policy in the American States. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Faucheux, Ron, and Paul S. Herrnson. 1999. “See How They Run: State Legislative Candidates.” Campaigns and Elections 20 (August): 2126.
Fox, Richard L. 1997. Gender Dynamics in Congressional Elections. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Fox, Richard L. 2000. “Gender and Congressional Elections.” In Gender and American Politics: Women, Men, and the Political Process, ed. Sue Tolleson-Rinehart and Jyl J. Josephson. Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe, 22756.
Fox, Richard L., and Jennifer L. Lawless. 2004. “Entering the Arena? Gender and the Decision to Run for Office.” American Journal of Political Science 48 (April): 26480.
Fulton, Sarah A. 2005. “Explaining Women's Representation in Legislatures.” Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Washington, DC.
Gierzynski, Anthony. 1992. Legislative Party Campaign Committees in the American States. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky.
Hogan, Robert E. 2001. “The Influence of State and District Conditions on the Representation of Women in U.S. State Legislatures.” American Politics Research 29 (January): 424.
Jennings, M. Kent. 1990. “Women in Party Politics.” In Women, Politics, and Change, ed. Louise A. Tilly and Patricia Gurin. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 22148.
King, David, and Richard Matland. 2003. “Sex and the Grand Old Party: An Experimental Investigation of the Effect of Candidate Sex on Support for a Republican Candidate.” American Politics Research 31 (November): 595612.
Kunovich, Sherry, and Pamela Paxton. 2005. “Pathways to Power: The Role of Political Parties in Women's National Political Representation.” American Journal of Sociology 111 (September): 50552.
Lilley, William III, Laurence J. DeFranco, and Mark F. Bernstein. 1998. The Almanac of State Legislatures: Changing Patterns 1990–1997. 2d ed. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly.
Matland, Richard E., and Donley T. Studlar. 1996. “The Contagion of Women Candidates in Single-Member District and Proportional Representation Electoral Systems: Canada and Norway.” Journal of Politics 58 (August): 70733.
Moncrief, Gary F., Peverill Squire, and Malcolm E. Jewell. 2001. Who Runs for the Legislature? Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
National Conference of State Legislatures. 2001. “2001 Partisan Composition of State Legislatures.” http://www.ncsl.org (December 1, 2001).
National Conference of State Legislatures. 2003. “2003 State Legislative Session Calendar.” http://www.ncsl.org (December 1, 2003).
Nechemias, Carol. 1987. “Changes in the Election of Women to U.S. Legislative Seats.” Legislative Studies Quarterly 12 (February): 12542.
Niven, David. 1998. The Missing Majority: The Recruitment of Women as State Legislative Candidates. Westport, CT: Praeger.
Norrander, Barbara, and Clyde Wilcox. 1998. “The Geography of Gender Power: Women in State Legislatures.” In Women and Elective Office: Past, Present, and Future, ed. Sue Thomas and Clyde Wilcox. New York: Oxford University Press, 10317.
Norris, Pippa. 1993. “Conclusions: Comparing Legislative Recruitment.” In Gender and Party Politics, ed. Joni Lovenduski and Pippa Norris. London: Sage Publications, 30930.
Norris, Pippa, and Joni Lovenduski. 1995. Political Recruitment: Gender, Race and Class in the British Parliament. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Public Perspective. 1993. “Ambition, Discrimination, Harassment.” Public Perspective 4 (September/October): 95.
Rule, Wilma. 1981. “Why Women Don't Run: The Critical Contextual Factors in Women's Legislative Recruitment.” Western Political Quarterly 34 (March): 6077.
Sanbonmatsu, Kira. 2002a. “Gender Stereotypes and Vote Choice.” American Journal of Political Science 46 (January): 2034.
Sanbonmatsu, Kira. 2002b. “Political Parties and the Recruitment of Women to State Legislatures.” Journal of Politics 64 (August): 791809.
Sanbonmatsu, Kira. 2006a. “The Legislative Party and Candidate Recruitment in the American States.” Party Politics 12 (March): 23356.
Sanbonmatsu, Kira. 2006b. “State Elections: Where Do Women Run? Where Do Women Win?” In Gender and Elections: Shaping the Future of American Politics, ed. Susan J. Carroll and Richard L. Fox. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 189214.
Sanbonmatsu, Kira. 2006c. “Gender Pools and Puzzles: Charting a ‘Women's Path’ to the Legislature.” Politics & Gender 2 (September): 387400.
Sanbonmatsu, Kira. 2006d. Where Women Run: Gender and Party in the American States. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Seltzer, Richard A., Jody Newman, and Melissa Vorhees Leighton. 1997. Sex as a Political Variable: Women as Candidates and Voters in U.S. Elections. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner.
Squire, Peverill. 1992. “Legislative Professionalization and Membership Diversity in State Legislatures.” Legislative Studies Quarterly 17 (February): 6979.
Thompson, Joel A., Gary F. Moncrief, and Keith E. Hamm. 1998. “Gender, Candidate Attributes, and Campaign Contributions.” In Campaign Finance in State Legislative Elections, ed. Joel A. Thompson and Gary F. Moncrief. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly, 11738.
Uhlaner, Carole Jean, and Kay Lehman Schlozman. 1986. “Candidate Gender and Congressional Campaign Receipts.” Journal of Politics 48 (February): 3050.
U.S. Bureau of the Census. 1998. Statistical Abstract of the United States: 1998. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office.
Werner, Brian L. 1998. “Urbanization, Proximity, and the Intra-State Context of Women's Representation.” Women & Politics 19 (2): 8193.
Young, Lyndsey R. 2006. “The Impact of Gender on Legislative Campaign Committee Expenditures.” Paper presented at the Southern Political Science Association Annual Meeting, Atlanta.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Politics & Gender
  • ISSN: 1743-923X
  • EISSN: 1743-9248
  • URL: /core/journals/politics-and-gender
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 11
Total number of PDF views: 77 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 375 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 24th November 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.