PRESS RELEASE from The Center for American Women and Politics/The 2012 Project

June 21, 2012
Contacts: Stacy Mason, Campaign Manager
Debbie Walsh, CAWP Director


NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ and PALO ALTO, CA, June 21, 2012 -- At the halfway mark in primary voting for the 2012 elections, women are on track to break the all-time record for the number of general election candidates for U.S. House seats, based on calculations by The 2012 Project, a campaign of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University.

After primaries in 26 states, 97 women have won contests that put them on the November ballot. If the same voting patterns continue in the remaining 24 states, where 115 women are slated to run, as many as 60 additional women would advance to the general election, putting the total well above the current record of 141 women candidates set in 2004.

And that won’t be the first new record set in 2012: Already, 294 women have filed to run for House seats, with four more expected to sign on, shattering the previous record of 262 women set in 2010, says Debbie Walsh, director of CAWP.

“At only 17 percent female, the U.S. House of Representatives remains far from representative,” says Mary Hughes, founder of The 2012 Project. “For the first time in 20 years, women are poised to make significant gains in the upcoming election.”

Hughes notes, “Research shows that women leaders introduce more bills, bring more resources home to their districts and advocate for new issues on the legislative agenda.”

The 2012 elections follow post-census redistricting when every congressional and state legislative district is redrawn and open seats are created. Women and other newcomers have more success winning open seats, and the increased voter turnout in presidential year’s further boosts women candidates.

The 2012 Project’s goal for November is to emerge from this year’s elections with a Congress that includes 20 percent women; that would far exceed the previous high of 17 percent.

About CAWP
The Center for American Women and Politics, a unit of the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is a university-based research, education and public service center. Its mission is to promote greater knowledge and understanding about women’s changing relationship to politics and government and to enhance women’s influence and leadership in public life. CAWP is a leading authority in its field and a respected bridge between the academic and political worlds.

The 2012 Project is a national, non-partisan campaign of CAWP to increase the number of women in Congress and state legislatures by taking advantage of the once-in-a-decade opportunities of 2012. Learn more and follow the 2012 Women’s Election Tracker at