The Center for Responsive Politics is pleased to announce the publication of “Race, Gender, and Money in Politics: Campaign Finance and Federal Candidates in the 2018 Midterms.” Written by Sarah Bryner, the Center’s research director, and Grace Haley, the Center’s gender and race researcher, this paper looks at the future of money in politics and the changing demographic shifts in Congress and America.
Here is the paper’s abstract:
As the U.S. population grows increasingly diverse, Congress, and particularly Republican members, continue to lag behind in representation of women and minorities. While the 2018 midterm elections ushered in a historically large group of new female and minority congresspeople, barriers still remain to minority candidates trying to run, raise money, and win. Collecting individual candidate data from the 2018 midterms, the authors study the fundraising of political candidates by race, gender, and political affiliation, pairing an email survey in which candidates self-identify race and gender with data on electoral outcomes. While Democrats ran more diverse candidates than Republicans in terms of women and people of color in the 2018 midterms, the Democratic candidate pool was still less diverse than the electorate, particularly in competitive races. Additionally, black women face disadvantages in fundraising, particularly from large individual donors. While women raised more money than men this cycle, much of this increase in female fundraising in 2018 was driven by female candidates raising a disproportionate amount of money from female donors. The authors suggest that although the 116th Congress is much more diverse than those prior, there remain significant barriers to disadvantaged groups in running for office.