Research explains when political financing works — and when it doesn’t
By Ragnhild Muriaas and WSU political science professors Amy G. Mazur and Season Hoard
Early voting is opening in Virginia and Democrats are determined to retain control of the legislature. In the first state elections since President Biden took office and Texas adopted the most restrictive abortion law in the nation, 50 of 97 Democratic nominees are women.
Many female nominees are backed by seed money from political organizations dedicated to fight for more diversity in elected office. Such programs have helped female candidates winning seats before. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), before she became a member of Congress, was recruited by Justice Democrats, an organization that offered her training, a platform and some campaign funding.
But that’s unusual. In the United States and across the globe, political power is heavily skewed toward the rich. Structural barriers make it almost impossible for women from working-class backgrounds — like Ocasio-Cortez — to win public office.