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We’re Watching Women on this Election Day

November 7, 2017    
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Much of today’s election news will be about the Gubernatorial Elections in New Jersey and Virginia. However, elections are being held in 31 other states. More than 99% of elections this year are “local.” Similar to our previous post, we thought we’d take a closer look at who is running – specifically, the women in politics.

In 2016, approximately 68% of all political candidates were male and 32% were female. This year is similar; 64% (male) and 36% (female).

Last year, men outperformed women 67% to 33% in local, state and federal elections. Women have performed significantly better in 2017, winning 43% of all elections held so-far compared to 57% won by men.

In 2016, more females ran in the Northeast than in any other U.S. region, which holds true again this year. In fact, the Northeast is the only region in which female ballot representation increased relative to 2016.

Chart 1: U.S. Region by Gender (Candidates)

 2016 CANDIDATES2017 CANDIDATES
REGIONFEMALEMALEFEMALEMALE
Midwest32.2%67.8%30.1%69.9%
Northeast34.6%65.4%45.8%54.2%
South30.2%69.8%28.9%71.1%
West33.4%66.6%32.4%67.6%

 

The Northeast is also the only region in which voters elected more females than males in either election cycle.

Chart 2: U.S. Region by Gender (Winners)

 2016 WINNERS2017 WINNERS
REGIONFEMALEMALEFEMALEMALE
Midwest33.1%66.9%32.9%67.1%
Northeast36.2%63.8%52.2%47.8%
South30.6%69.4%26.8%73.2%
West35.5%64.5%32.3%67.7%

 

Last year, nearly 44% of candidates filed as Nonpartisan, 21% as Democratic, and 32% as Republican. This year, due to the high volume of municipal elections, there are more Nonpartisan candidates at 54% relative to Democratic (20%) and Republican (21%) candidates. Other parties represented on 2017 ballots include “Trump Winsted,” “Voters Have Pull,” and the “We the People’s Party.”

The party make-up of the “2017 winners” is as follows: 34% Nonpartisan, 29% Republican, and 28% Democratic. This is substantially different from 2016 when the Republicans captured a much larger share of the winning seats: 47% Nonpartisan, 33% Republican, and 17% Democratic.

In 2016, 37% of all Democratic candidates and 29% of Republican candidates were female. This year, female representation has increased by nearly 10% within both “major” parties.

Chart 3: Party by Gender (Candidates)

  2016 CANDIDATES 2017 CANDIDATES
PARTYFEMALEMALEFEMALEMALE
Democratic37.1%62.9%48.3%51.7%
Republican28.8%71.2%37.5%62.5%
Nonpartisan32.6%67.4%31.5%68.5%

 

Women from both parties are performing better in 2017 relative to their male party counterparts by a margin of nearly 15% over last year. In fact, more female Democrats have won in 2017 than male Democrats.

Chart 4: Party by Gender (Winners)

 2016 WINNERS2017 WINNERS
FEMALEMALEFEMALEMALE
Democratic38.9%61.1%54.9%45.1%
Republican29.1%70.9%44.1%55.9%
Nonpartisan33.8%66.3%34.8%65.2%

 

Tonight’s results will be interesting – we’ll especially be watching Democratic and Republican women to see if they can continue outpacing the party men.

Analysis

Our 2016 analysis used data from 105,915 candidates and 55,263 “winners” from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. For 2017 calculations, we analyzed 74,574 candidates and 23,155 “winners” from 38 states. Candidates who ran for two separate offices were counted twice, once for each office sought (note: <1% of candidates sought multiple offices).

This article was authored by PoliticalBank’s data research team. Please contact Data@PoliticalBank.com if you are interested in writing for PoliticalBank or would like access to its dataset.

PoliticalBank’s mission is to serve as a nonpartisan, one-stop-shop for candidates (and potential candidates) to launch an effective, winning campaign. Learn more at PoliticalBank.com.