Women Give More Money to Female Politicians

Women in CongressOkay, so that’s probably not a shocking piece of information. But this report from The Upshot at The New York Times is still worth a skim for its insights into who’s wielding what political power heading into the 2016 election.After analyzing data from donation-tracking startup Crowdpac, The Upshot found that women are more likely to give to other women and to give to liberals; thus, the members of Congress who receive more than half of their donations from women are all Democratic women themselves. There are only a few such politicians who fit that description, though—the lion’s share of the money in politics still comes out of men’s pockets.Women comprise only 30 percent of big donors to campaigns, and give just 24 percent of the total sum contributed to members of Congress. As the Times notes, this amounts to “a gender gap in political influence…In an era where big donors demand ever more access to potential future leaders, the gender gap in contributions contributes to a gender gap in political power as well.”Among the individual presidential candidates, it’s again not a surprise that over half (52 percent) of Hillary Clinton’s big donors are women. Across party lines, about a third of Carly Fiorina’s donors are women (a high number for a Republican presidential candidate).What’s unclear from these data is whether women give less to campaigns because they’re not as interested in political influence, or because fewer of the candidates they’d prefer (i.e., women) are running at all. One way we could find out? Run for office yourself, or encourage another woman who’s on the fence to give it a shot. We’ll see how the numbers look when we have more women to support in the first place.