Women and American Politics: New Questions, New Directions

By Susan J. Carroll | Go to book overview

3 Money and Women's Candidacies for Public Office

Barbara C. Burrell

You are thinking about running for public office. You have been active in your community, your political party, or other organizations. Perhaps you are concerned about a particular issue and want to be part of the policy-making process. You may feel that those who currently hold office could do much better than they are doing. You know that you could do better. Among the first questions you have to address as you decide whether to run are the following: What will others involved in the process ask as they consider the viability of your potential campaign, especially if it is for an office above the local level? How much money can you raise? How much are you willing to invest in the campaign? Can you contemplate raising millions of dollars for a seat in the U.S. Senate, over $500,000 for a U.S. House seat, or perhaps even tens of thousands of dollars for state legislative office?

Whether we like it or not, money plays a central role in campaigns for public office today. The ability to raise money is a major measure of electoral strength. The lack of money keeps many individuals from undertaking quests for public office. Thus, democracy loses an important element of what makes it the best type of political system: competition for leadership. Further, the quest for money keeps officeholders and would-be officeholders from spending time articulating issue positions and working with the voters. Once in office, campaign finance reform takes up the time and attention of lawmakers. It is a major issue at the national level and in many states.


Money and Elections

The basic questions concerning campaign finance have been: How is money raised? How much is raised and spent? When is it raised? And what effect does it have on the outcome of elections? A second set of questions explores the effect of money on the legislative process. Put most crudely, does money buy

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Women and American Politics: New Questions, New Directions
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Women and American Politics iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents vii
  • List of Figures ix
  • List of Contributors x
  • References 25
  • Part I Running for Public Office 31
  • 1: Accounting for Women's Political Involvement 33
  • References 49
  • 2: Campaign Strategy 53
  • References 68
  • 3: Money and Women's Candidacies for Public Office 72
  • References 85
  • Part II Other Aspects of Women's Participation in Electoral Politics 87
  • 4: The Impact of Women in Political Leadership Positions 89
  • 5: Women, Women's Organizations, and Political Parties 111
  • References 141
  • 6: The Gender Gap 146
  • References 166
  • Part III New Directions in Women and Politics Research 171
  • 7: Assessing the Media's Impact on the Political Fortunes of Women 173
  • References 187
  • 8: A Portrait of Continuing Marginality 190
  • References 210
  • 9: Broadening the Study of Women's Participation 214
  • References 229
  • Index 237
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