In the run up to the 2018 election, news outlets have been predicting that it would be another ‘Year of the Woman.’ The last time pundits dubbed an election cycle with this label was in 1992. That’s 16 years since an “unprecedented” number of women ran for office and commanded the attention of the election news coverage.
Let’s not forget that the 1992 victory for women’s representation was heralded as such because 11 women were nominated by major parties for Senate seats, and only six of them ultimately won. While that tripled the number of women in the U.S. Senate, there was still a clear and substantial disparity in the number of women – particularly women of color – serving in public office.
So, we were curious about how the 2018 primary election would shake out for women candidates. What we found was that this new potential ‘Year of the Woman’ could make an even greater dent in progress here in Ohio. Of the Democratic and Republican candidates running in Ohio’s 2018 primary election for Statewide Executive Offices, the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, the Ohio State House, and the Ohio State Senate, 115 of them were women.
And when women run, women win. When you factor in contested races, uncontested races, and women who ran and won as write-ins for those offices, 81 women were declared victorious in Tuesday’s primary election and will be on the November General Election ballot. Here are the top ten highlights we found in the data:
1. A total of 115 women were on the ballot on Tuesday. *not including write-in candidates
This includes Republican and Democratic party candidates who were listed on the ballot for Statewide offices (Attorney General, Auditor, Governor and Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, and Treasurer), the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, the Ohio State House, and the Ohio State Senate.
2. These 115 women were running for a total of 100 different offices/races.
For a further breakdown, that’s 4 Statewide Executive Office races (including: Governor/Lieutenant Governor, Treasurer, and Secretary of State), 15 federal races (including: 1 U.S. Senate race and 14 U.S. House races), 12 state senate races, and 69 state house races where at least one woman was on the ballot.
3. Over half (53 races) of these 101 races were contested. And of these contested primaries, a total of 68 women were on the ballot.
That means women are stepping up to run in competitive primaries at every level. And they’re winning.
4. Of the women on the ballot on Tuesday, 30 of them won their contested primary elections.
This includes women winning in contested races at the state and federal level: 18 state house wins, 3 state senate wins, 8 US House wins, and 1 statewide win.
5. These wins included women running against other women, 1:1 against a male opponent, and in a few cases women beating out multiple men.
For example, in state house races, 4 women won races against multiple male opponents (and one woman winning a 6-way primary against both male and female opponents).
6. When factoring in contested races, uncontested races, and women who ran and won as write-ins, 81 women won in Tuesday’s election.
That means that there will be 81 women running in November’s general election at the state and federal level in Ohio as Democratic or Republican candidates.
7. While women were on the ballot for Republican and Democratic party voters, we also looked at party breakdown.
We found that the majority of women on the ballot ran as Democratic candidates, but there was a great difference for statewide candidates in party breakdown.
8. For Republican candidates: 32 women were on the ballot running as Republicans in a total of 31 different races.
This includes 2 statewide offices, 1 US Senate race, 3 US House seats, 2 state senate seats, and 23 state house seats. 15 of these women will be on the general (+1 write-in who won).
9. For Democratic candidates: A total of 83 women were on the ballot running as Democratic candidates in 69 races.
That includes 2 statewide offices, 11 US House races, 10 state senate seats, and 46 state house seats. Of these women, 62 will be in the general (+3 write-ins who won).
10. For the general election, there are only 7 offices where a Democratic and Republican woman will face off against each other.
This includes U.S. House District 11, state senate district 3, and state house districts 25, 32, 51, 53, and 55.
BOTTOM LINE: When women run, women win. There is the potential for these races to have an immense impact on the priorities of our state and federal government. Studies show that women in elected office bring a different perspective to the job than their male counterparts. Women serving as public officials are more likely to be involved and advocate for issues with a disproportionate effect on women, such as the lack of access to paid family leave and addressing sexual harassment in the workplace. Maybe it’s time we made the ‘year of the woman’ an annual tradition. You can read the full thread Twitter and join in the conversation.