NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

A "Gender Gap" In Campaign Donations

June 9, 1999

Two new studies explore the differences between men and women in political contributions. Men tend to consider their contributions as investments to further their own influence and business interests, while women are more cause and issue oriented.

One of the studies comes from Paul Herrnson of the University of Maryland and the other from the Center for Responsive Politics.

  • In the 1998 election cycle, women gave 51 percent of their contributions to Democrats, whereas men contributed only 42 percent to Democrats.
  • While women's dollars have grown as a proportion of the total flowing into campaigns, they still represent just one-fourth of all political giving.
  • Women account for higher proportions of contributions in western states and lower proportions in the South.
  • Female Democratic candidates collected on average nearly 43 percent of their campaign cash from female donors, while female Republican candidates raised 29 percent from females.

Women accounted for 26 percent of contributions to Democratic male candidates, and 24 percent to Republican men.

States with the highest proportion of contributions from men -- about $4 out of every $5 -- were Utah, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama and Arkansas. States with the highest proportion of female contributors -- $3 out of every $10 -- were Washington, New Mexico, California, Nevada and Idaho.

Source: Jim Drinkard, "Studies: 'Gender Gap' Wide in Campaign Donations," USA Today, June 9, 1999.


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