Women Made Gains in Election 2022.
But Progress for Women is not Inevitable.
Women made gains in representation as a result of the 2022 election, but these gains were more modest and less unbalanced across party lines than in the elections of 2018 and 2020. This report analyzes women’s electoral success in 2022, focusing on the numbers, and puts it into historical context—with special attention to how 2022 compared to the historic elections that preceded it.
Women ran for and won elective office in record numbers in 2018 and 2020, though success varied significantly by political party; Democratic women were responsible for nearly all the growth in women’s political representation in 2018 while Republican women’s rebound in 2020 contributed most to the gains for women candidates and officeholders. The 2022 election signaled relative stasis for women’s representation – particularly at the congressional level – as candidates, nominees, and officeholders, with less variance within and across political parties than in the past two cycles.
This report details the numeric gains and sites for stasis for women, with particular attention to differences with men, between parties, and among women of different racial and ethnic groups. Together, they demonstrate that the trend toward gender parity in political leadership is inconsistent and that evaluating progress for women requires attentiveness to differences across party, race and ethnicity, geography, and time.
Report Terminology and Methodology: Throughout this report, “candidates” refer to candidates who filed and appeared on primary ballots as well as any candidates who were added to general election ballots to fill vacancies. Candidates who withdrew before any votes were cast and who did not appear on primary ballots are not included. “Nominees” refer to those candidates who appeared on general election ballots. Candidates and nominees for non-voting delegate positions are not included in these analyses, consistent with CAWP’s reporting and calculations of women officeholders. Candidate and nominee counts include only major-party candidates and nominees, with the exception of third-party incumbents and/or winners, and candidates and nominees in non-partisan contests. Any additional unique cases are noted in report text or chart notes. CAWP’s reporting of candidates, nominees, and officeholders by race/ethnicity has evolved over time. Beginning in election 2022, CAWP no longer reports an aggregate number of “women of color” in our data collections on candidates and officeholders and instead provides disaggregated data for all women by race and ethnicity. Because multiracial women are included in counts for each group with which they identify, adding the numbers of women by group will not yield the total number of women of color candidates, nominees, or officeholders. For more information on CAWP’s historic and current collection of race/ethnicity data, please see our methodological statement.