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Examining the “Conventional” Wisdom: Political Party Conventions, Political Party Strength, and Women’s Quest for Statewide Office

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Abstract:

To date there have been few systematic investigations of the role political parties play in women’s recruitment, specifically in more formal candidate nomination processes. Across U.S. states, the strength of political parties to influence candidate nominations varies. I examine how this variation influences women’s candidacies for statewide office. That is, in states where political parties are more powerful, does this increase or decrease the chances a female candidate gains party endorsement or elective office? I investigate to what extent political parties and nomination mechanisms constitute a missing piece of the puzzle of women’s descriptive underrepresentation in statewide offices. To do this, I examine the proportion of and success rates of female candidates between 1988 and 2006 using a unique data set of primary and general election results held in all 50 states. In the aggregate, a significantly higher proportion of women run in primaries and general election contests in states where political parties nominate candidates preprimary. Further, women candidates in preprimary states win at higher, but not significantly so, rates. I find that these results are especially strong in the time period before and just after the “Year of the Woman”; thereafter the rates of women running and winning are more equivalent across states with different nomination systems.

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Author's Keywords:

gender, political parties, candidate nomination, statewide election, party convention, party strength, women's representation
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Association:
Name: Midwest Political Science Association
URL:
http://www.indiana.edu/~mpsa/


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p197159_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Bos, Angela. "Examining the “Conventional” Wisdom: Political Party Conventions, Political Party Strength, and Women’s Quest for Statewide Office" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, Palmer House Hotel, Chicago, IL, Apr 12, 2007 <Not Available>. 2013-12-16 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p197159_index.html>

APA Citation:

Bos, A. L. , 2007-04-12 "Examining the “Conventional” Wisdom: Political Party Conventions, Political Party Strength, and Women’s Quest for Statewide Office" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, Palmer House Hotel, Chicago, IL Online <APPLICATION/PDF>. 2013-12-16 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p197159_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: To date there have been few systematic investigations of the role political parties play in women’s recruitment, specifically in more formal candidate nomination processes. Across U.S. states, the strength of political parties to influence candidate nominations varies. I examine how this variation influences women’s candidacies for statewide office. That is, in states where political parties are more powerful, does this increase or decrease the chances a female candidate gains party endorsement or elective office? I investigate to what extent political parties and nomination mechanisms constitute a missing piece of the puzzle of women’s descriptive underrepresentation in statewide offices. To do this, I examine the proportion of and success rates of female candidates between 1988 and 2006 using a unique data set of primary and general election results held in all 50 states. In the aggregate, a significantly higher proportion of women run in primaries and general election contests in states where political parties nominate candidates preprimary. Further, women candidates in preprimary states win at higher, but not significantly so, rates. I find that these results are especially strong in the time period before and just after the “Year of the Woman”; thereafter the rates of women running and winning are more equivalent across states with different nomination systems.

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Associated Document Available Midwest Political Science Association

Document Type: application/pdf
Page count: 38
Word count: 6626
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