The gender gap in political donations
Despite the male vote, women are much less likely to contribute to the campaign. A recent analysis from Rutgers University’s Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) found that men gave women 2 to 1 in all state legislative contests in 2020.
“Greater awareness of the problem is part of the solution,” said Kira Sanbonmatsu, a professor at Rutgers who co-authored the report using data from OpenSecrets.
Sanbonmatsu attributed the lack of contributions of American women in part to the gender pay gap. Studies have shown that full-time employed women earn 82 cents for every dollar paid to a man who works full-time, full-year.
“What this shows us is that the gender pay gap has political consequences,” Sanbonmatsu said. “Another part of the problem has to do with the gender norms around money. We hear that from the candidate’s side.
Simply put, there are parts of American society that are still uncomfortable with a female candidate asking for money for a campaign. “We must also ask women to give,” added Sanbonmatsu. “Sometimes it’s just, when people think of who can give, think of women too.”
She noted that some groups have succeeded in cultivating female “giving circles” that support candidates. Still, the candidate matters: Female donors are more likely to give to female candidates for office, whether they’re Democrats or Republican.
“Thirty-three percent of the money paid to Democratic candidates for the state Senate and 39% of the money paid to candidates representing the state in the woman-to-man races was donated by female donors. In contrast, about half of the money paid to female Democrats running for legislative elections competing with male Republican men came from female donors, ”according to the report.
Women’s contributions made up about 35 of Republican women’s earnings from individual donors in state legislative races against Democratic men. While across the Republican side as a whole, women provided only 22% of total contributions to male GOP candidates for the State Senate and 26% of total contributions to Republican candidates for state officials in the states. woman versus man races.
In general, women were more likely to contribute to Democratic candidates than Republicans, according to the report. But Sanbonmatsu noted that with more and more female candidates on both sides, the gender donation imbalance could change: “We could also set new records for donations from women here if they are asked to give. “