Are women reshaping the political donor class in the USA? Money matters in the upcoming races for Governor
Within the next two years, 38 states will hold gubernatorial elections, including two states - Virginia and New Jersey – who will hold gubernatorial elections in November 2021. These elections provide multiple opportunities for women. Nine women currently serve as governor and just 44 women have ever served in gubernatorial office in U.S. history. Candidates, including some potential women candidates, are already jockeying for the governors’ offices.
But running for office isn’t the only way women can participate in politics and wield power. Political donations provide critical resources that help candidates win elections and they signal that a candidate has support and the potential to be competitive. Furthermore, research finds that candidates and party leaders are more attentive to the interests of political donors. The 2018 and 2020 election cycles demonstrated that women are emerging as a significant force as political donors, and the 2021 and 2022 races present an opportunity for women to flex that power and make their mark in gubernatorial elections.
In The Money Hurdle in the Race for Governor, co-authors Kira Sanbonmatsu, Kathleen Rogers, and I note the dearth of women governors and the challenges women candidates face in seeking gubernatorial office. Our research also reveals that women’s giving in gubernatorial elections hasn’t reached its potential. Women make up a majority of the American electorate and vote at higher rates than men yet have lagged behind in terms of political giving. That tide may be turning.
Click here to read the full article published by the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) on 14 January 2021.