Women are running for office in record numbers this year

By KYW Newsradio 1060

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The number of women running for national political office is the highest it’s ever been, according to new research from the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University.

The Center for American Women in Politics, based out of Rutgers University, says a record number of women are running for office.

Kelly Dittman, a scholar and director of research at the Center, says this year, 12 Democratic women and eight Republican women are running for seats in the U.S. Senate.

In the U.S. House, 204 Democratic women and 94 Republican women are nominees.

“In 2018, all of the gains, for women especially when we go to success at the ballot box, was among Democratic women,” she explained.

Dittmar says, because of that, 2020 is a little different.

“We see a shift in the partisan trend this year, and there are a host of reasons for that. One of them is you have so many Democratic women incumbents now, and they are the party in power, (in the U.S. House) so that they are just less likely to be challenged,” she said.

Dittmar also says another reason more Democratic women are winning office is because of financial support from the political action committee Emily’s List, which spends millions in every election to support women candidates.

There is no Republican equivalent to that PAC.

Dittmar says historically, women are seen as more liberal than men, whatever party they come from.

“And certainly that’s actually true when it comes to public opinion. But when you apply those stereotypes to candidates, it can be difficult for a Republican woman to make it through a Republican primary where the electorate is seeking the most conservative candidate,” she said.

At the same time, Dittmar says that bias helps Democratic women because those voters, historically, want a more liberal and progressive candidate.