Following a presidential election that defeated the hopes of women and people of color across the country, we wanted to understand how voters would respond. Running the numbers on the 2018 midterm ballot, we found an extraordinary shift: Primary voters chose more women and people of color as their candidates than ever before.
Analyzing the race and gender of candidates from 2012 to 2018, we found political power shifting away from white men, and toward women and people of color.
- As women – both white and of color – made gains, white male Congressional candidates dropped by 13%.
- The data showed the Democratic Party making strides toward more reflective leadership, and the Republican Party recommitting to government run by white men.
- In the country’s 3 most populous states, California and Texas saw more women and people of color running in 2018 than 2016, while in Florida candidates of color decreased.
- The increase in women running for state legislature rose to the level of a major national trend. In more than half the states, women candidates increased by 20% or more.
This report was issued in advance of the 2018 midterm elections. When the 2018 midterms took place, we saw shifting ballot demographics translate into a wave of election victories for women and people of color. This historic upheaval is analyzed in The Electability Myth: The Shifting Demographics of Political Power in America.