You are here

Why Aren’t There More Republican Women in Congress? Gender, Partisanship, and Fundraising Support in the 2010 and 2012 Elections

April 2016

Karin E. Kitchens , Michele L. Swers


This article examines why there is a gap not only just between the number of men and women in Congress, but also between the number of Democratic and Republican women. The researchers find that this is mainly due to fundraising. While Democratic women often outperform their male counterparts in primary fundraising, the same cannot be said for Republican women. In fact, Republican women often receive less primary funding than men. This is because organizations focused on diversity and electing more women are often very left-leaning (if not explicitly only for Democrats). On top of fundraising issues, Republican women are also less likely to run in the first place than Democratic ones (who are additionally less likely than men of either party), further deepening the divide.

Read Now

Policy Implications

If the Republican party seeks to elect more women, it must put more resources towards recruiting female candidates, as well as developing donor networks for them. Organizations focused on electing more Republican women already exist, they just need the support from the party and from donors in order to be effective.

Find Similar General/Not Specific Research