Re­port: Fewer white men run­ning for of­fice as women and mi­nori­ties step up

Lodi News-Sentinel - - FRONT PAGE - By Stephanie Akin

WASH­ING­TON — The 2018 pri­mary sea­son has seen a dras­tic de­cline of white men run­ning for of­fice in con­gres­sional and state races, as more women and mi­nori­ties have joined the fray, ac­cord­ing to re­port re­leased Thurs­day.

There has been a 13 per­cent drop in white, male con­gres­sional can­di­dates since 2012 and a 12 per­cent drop in leg­isla­tive races, the re­port from the Re­flec­tive Democ­racy Cam­paign found.

“This is clearly a story largely about women run­ning and win­ning pri­maries at a much greater rate than ever be­fore,” said Brenda Choresi Carter, di­rec­tor of the Re­flec­tive Democ­racy Cam­paign. “But this not only a story of in­creased num­bers of women run­ning and win­ning. An­other way of flip­ping it is a his­toric de­crease in white men.”

Dur­ing the same pe­riod, the num­ber of women of color run­ning for Congress in­creased by 75 per­cent, the num­ber of white women in­creased by 36 per­cent, and the num­ber of women run­ning over­all in­creased by 42 per­cent in Se­nate and 39 per­cent in House races.

The re­port found an in­crease of fe­male can­di­dates across the po­lit­i­cal spec­trum in con­gres­sional races. Fe­male Demo­cratic can­di­dates in­creased by 46 per­cent and fe­male Re­pub­li­can can­di­dates in­creased by 22 per­cent.

The cen­ter has been track­ing the num­bers of women and mi­nori­ties run­ning for of­fice since 2012. The first two years, the rates re­mained largely un­changed.

From 2012 to 2016, white men, who rep­re­sented only 32 per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion, were 65 per­cent of all can­di­dates and 65 per­cent of all elected of­fice­hold­ers at the lo­cal, state, and fed­eral level, it found.

State leg­isla­tive races have seen sim­i­lar in­creases in rep­re­sen­ta­tion of fe­male and mi­nor­ity can­di­dates, it found. There, women of color in­creased by 75 per­cent, and white women in­creased by 14 per­cent.

In gu­ber­na­to­rial races, women of all races and men of color in­creased as a share of Demo­cratic can­di­dates. But men of color de­creased as a share of Re­pub­li­can gu­ber­na­to­rial can­di­dates, leav­ing the Re­pub­li­can can­di­date pool al­most ex­clu­sively white and male at 86 per­cent.

The re­port, “A Ris­ing Tide? The Chang­ing De­mo­graph­ics on our Bal­lots,” ag­gre­gated data from more than 40,000 gen­eral elec­tion can­di­dates from 2012 to 2018, track­ing the race and gen­der makeup of House and Se­nate races in 43 states with avail­able data and 34 states hold­ing gu­ber­na­to­rial elec­tions in 2018.

For the race and gen­der of state leg­is­la­ture can­di­dates, it fo­cused on a sam­ple of 15 states: eight states whose of­fice­hold­ers best re­flect Amer­ica’s de­mo­graph­ics ac­cord­ing to the cen­ter’s Na­tional Rep­re­sen­ta­tion In­dex and seven states at the bot­tom of the NRI where white men most dom­i­nate the po­lit­i­cal sys­tem.

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