Vote With Your Purse
By Ellen Sherberg
As the Presidential campaign winds down, the fight for the women’s vote intensifies.
Even as the spotlight on them grows brighter, women’s giving to political campaigns dramatically lags behind our male counterparts. This year, a new study “Vote with your Purse: Lesson Learned, Women, Money and Politics in the 2010 Election Cycle” reported that women made up just 26 percent of recorded federal political contributions to candidates, political action committees and party committees. This was a drop from 31 percent in the 2008 cycle.
There’s a slight partisan edge (women made 30 percent of the total individual contributions to Democrats and 25 percent to Republicans) but both parties still clearly count on the guys.
Ironically, according to the report, women candidates prove to be strong fundraisers. In 2010 women Congressional incumbents raised about $100,000 more than their male counterparts and female challengers raised about $75,000 more than their male opponents.
The study was a collaborative effort between She Should Run (www.sheshouldrun.org) and the Center for Responsive Politics. She Should Run, which, as you might guess, promotes women running for office and has a companion website “Name It Change It” (www.nameitchangeit.org) that highlights sexist attacks on female candidates. I bet the state of Missouri is keeping them busy these days.