A new report from Reflective Democracy Campaign (RDC) says that the nation is experiencing a major increase in women running for office and that “women of color—the most under-represented group—are rising quickly as candidates and officeholders, driving steady progress for all people of color.”
Published Monday (June 24), the report, “The Electability Myth: The Shifting Demographics of Political Power in America,” analyzed data from nearly 45,000 elected officeholders and reported that in 2018, women and people of color who ran for office were just as likely to win their races as White men. When looking at women of color specifically, they have increased representation since 2015 as both candidates and elected officials, with a 40 percent increase in Congressional seats and a 38 percent increase in state legislature seats.
This head-to-head pace-keeping is interesting, considering that people of color, who are 40 percent of the population, hold only 11 percent of elected seats, according to the report. These numbers are not stopping women of color, who saw a 30 percent increase in election wins since 2015.*
“After a record-breaking election for women and people of color, the numbers are clear,” Brenda Choresi Carter, director of RDC, told The New York Times. “White men’s electability advantage is a myth. When reflective candidates are on the ballot, they win as often as [White] men.”
Note: Story has been updated to better reflect the report’s findings.