Denominators Matter: Women as a Percentage of All Candidates and Nominees

Rutgers Center for American Women & Politics


Kelly Dittmar

April 22, 2020


Whether you're talking about COVID testing or women candidates, denominators matter. In a new piece on our blog, Kelly Dittmar looks at how paying attention to the denominator puts women's political progress in perspective: "Taking the denominators into account in our assessment of women's political status and progress often results in some cognitive dissonance, and that is true again here. On the one hand, it is important to celebrate the gains in women's representation in candidate pools and among nominees. But on the other hand, these data reveal that women remain underrepresented at each stage of the electoral process and across parties." Read the full piece to find out how paying attention to the denominator reveals both successes and progress yet unmade for women as candidates and officeholders.

WIRE is a nonpartisan organization comprised of women and men committed to increasing the number of women in appointed and elected office in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties. WIRE identifies and recruits candidates for public office and supports their efforts by providing a broad network of resources. We are located in the San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA.

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