An App to Search for Women Running for Office in 2018
At a regular clip, women on both sides of the aisle have been declaring candidacy for Governor, State Attorney General, or Congress, creating campaign websites, tweeting about the issues, and raising money. They include military veterans, scientists, teachers, and doctors. I can’t keep up with the latest. Wouldn’t it be great if this information were centralized?
The nonpartisan research and education center, Center for American Women and Politics, maintains such a list. For voters, donors, or the merely interested, I created an interactive web app to visualize and search it more easily. The CAWP list includes women who have declared or are likely to declare 2018 candidacy for Statewide Executive or US Congressional office.
I updated data included in the app on 4/25/17
The first tab shows a US map in which all states are equal in size. This cartogram format allows the viewer to compare color-coded differences among states without size impacting the information conveyed. The user can hover over a state to view the total number of women running for Congress or State office, and of those, what percent are Republican or Democrat. The map makes it clear that a majority of states include more women running as Democrats than Republicans.
A second tab provides a searchable table of candidates listed in the most currently scraped version of the website. Dropdown menus allow the user to search by party and state and a text box allows the user to type in a search term. Results can be sorted by column headings and clicking on a candidate name will open their website.
The web app does not include data on women running for local or State Congressional offices. I’d need someone else to make or find a database for me to scrape, first. If you see one, let me know. Black Women Candidates is a searchable and sortable database that does include local, state, and federal candidates and the creators first made their own list because there wasn’t one. Clearly, there’s a demand for easily-accessible and comprehensive information for voters who want to change the status-quo.
Of women currently serving in Congress, 26% are Republican. The app’s interactive map and searchable table show a similar proportion among potential State or Congressional office holders: 29% Republican. In a previous post I created a graph to show percent change, over twenty years, of women in national governing bodies. Women in US Congress increased from 12% in 1997 to 19.6% in 2017. Maybe that value will be bumped up this November.
Thank you for reading.
I welcome constructive feedback — you can “clap” with approval or if you have a specific response or question, message me or comment here. I’m also interested in hearing what topics you’d like covered in future posts. If you’re looking for the R code used for data wrangling, feature engineering, & visualizations, see my associated GitHub repo or read another blog post describing the process.
- The CAWP, Eagleton Institute of Politics, Rutgers University, allows their materials to be used for non-commercial redistribution. Thank you, CAWP.
- The app is best viewed on a laptop or desktop computer.
- The working app can be found here. Please feel free to share a link to the app : https://jennylistman.shinyapps.io/WomenCandidates/
- I’ll update the data in the app as CAWP adds candidates to their website. The most recent update was on 4/25/17. I’m not setting that up to be automated, since I’ve noticed one significant change, already, to the format of data tables on their website during the time I’ve spent writing the app.
- The nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics website, OpenSecrets, maintains a list of PACs that support women candidates for Federal office and their contributions broken down by party.
- Code can be found on my GitHub repo. In
R, I used
statebinsto make the interactive map and the
DTpackage to make the searchable, sortable data table. All of this was put into a
shinyapp. In another blog post, I describe the process I used to create the app.