Kelly Dittmar

Assistant Professor of Political Science, Rutgers University-Camden
Scholar, Center for American Women and Politics, Eagleton Institute of Politics, Rutgers University-New Brunswick

About Kelly

Dittmar studies gender and American politics. Her research focuses on gender and American political institutions, including the presidency and Congress, with a particular focus on how gender informs campaigns and the impact of gender diversity among elites in policy and political decisions, priorities, and processes. Her current work focuses on the role of women political professionals on legislative and campaign work. Dittmar is a Scholar at the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers’ Eagleton Institute of Politics, where she manages national research projects and contributes to CAWP’s work to advance women in American politics.


How Views about Gender Shape U.S. Election Campaigns

In the News

Research discussed by Ciara O'Rourke , in "No, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Probably Didn't Say That," PolitiFact, March 27, 2019.
Quoted by Sahil Chinoy and Jessia Ma in "How Every Member Got to Congress," The New York Times, January 26, 2019.
Research discussed by Dora Mekouar, in " Why Women Candidates Don't Act like Men Anymore," Voice of America, October 4, 2018.
Opinion: "What Hasn't Changed about Women in Power Since Anita Hill," Kelly Dittmar, CNN, September 17, 2018.
Research discussed by Amber Phillips, in "Women Just Broke a Record: The Most Female Nominees For Governor in a Single Year," The Washington Post, August 8, 2018.
Quoted by Charlotte Greenfield in "Highchairs and Cuddles: How Parliaments are Catering for Lawmaker Moms," Reuters, July 14, 2018.
Research discussed by Emily Shugerman, in "'Incredible Explosion': 40,000 US Women Interested in Running for Office Since Trump's Election, Report Reveals," The Independent, July 4, 2018.
Research discussed by Audrey Carlson and Denise Liu, in "More Women Than Men: State Legislatures Could Shift for the First Time," The New York Times, June 30, 2018.
Quoted by Nia-Malika Henderson in "The Year of the Woman Is Here. But It's Not Quite What You Think.," CNN, June 27, 2018.
Research discussed by Greta Kaul, in "Yes, More Women Are Running for the Minnesota House in 2018. But More Men Are, Too.," Minneapolis Post, June 7, 2018.
Research discussed by Jerry Zremski, in "Gillibrand's Generosity to Female Candidates May Pay Off in 2020," The Buffalo News, June 7, 2018.
Research discussed by Heather Caygle, in "Poll: Partisan Gap Could Limit Women's Gains in November," Politico, June 5, 2018.
Quoted by Kimberly Lawson in "5 Women to Watch in Tuesday's Primary Elections," Broadly, June 5, 2018.
Quoted by Kayla Epstein in "With More Women Running for Office, New Opportunities - and Challenges- Arise," The Washington Post, May 31, 2018.
Opinion: "In 2018, Pennsylvania Women are Remixing 1992," Kelly Dittmar, CNN, May 16, 2018.
Quoted by Dan Merica in "Pennsylvania Only Has Men in Congress. That's About to Change.," CNN Politics, May 16, 2018.
Quoted by Tim Darragh in "Trump and Me Too Help Women Reach 'Historic' Heights in Pennsylvania Primary Races," The Morning Call, May 16, 2018.
Quoted by Amelia Harnish in "Close to 300 Women are on the Ballot Today. Win or Lose, They’ve Already Made History," Refinery 29, May 15, 2018.
Quoted by Dan Merica and Annie Grayer in "Democratic Women are Winning Primaries in Large Numbers, Energizing Other Candidates," CNN, May 14, 2018.
Opinion: "Under-Promise and Over-Deliver on Women’s Electoral Odds in 2018," Kelly Dittmar (with Debbie Walsh), Huffington Post, May 13, 2018.
Quoted by Heather Caygle in "Women Trounce Men on First Major Primary Night of the Year," Politico, May 9, 2018.
Quoted by Paul A. Specht and Lynn Bonner in "Dozens of Female Candidates are Headed to NC's Fall Elections. Did Their Gender Help Them?," The News & Observer, May 9, 2018.
Quoted by Carter Sherman in "A Trump Accuser (and a lot of Other Women) Won Their Primaries Tuesday," VICE News, May 9, 2018.
Quoted by Lisa Belkin in "Women Candidates Score in the Primaries, but with an Asterisk," Yahoo News, May 9, 2018.
Interviewed in "How Gender is Shaping Campaign Strategy," Business Record, April 30, 2018.
Quoted by Marie Wilson in "How 'Phantom' Voters Could Decide 6th District Race," Chicago Daily Herald, April 30, 2018.
Quoted by Cheyenne Haslett in "Duckworth Casts Vote Holding Newborn on Senate Floor after Rule Change," ABC News, April 19, 2018.
Quoted by Lisa Speckhard Pasque in "Most-Read Column Argues Trump's Popularity Has To Do with Race and Gender," The Capital Times, April 16, 2018.
Quoted by Susan Chira in "Mom is Running for Office," The New York Times, April 14, 2018.
Quoted by Danielle Kurtzleben in "A Record 309 Women are Running for Seats in the House (and 1,103 Men)," Tristates Public Radio, April 13, 2018.
Quoted by Jessie Opoien in "She's Running (the Campaign): Women Manage Most Wisconsin Democratic Governor Campaigns," The Capital Times, April 12, 2018.
Opinion: "11 States Have No Women Representing Them in Congress," Kelly Dittmar, CNN, April 9, 2018.
Quoted by Courtney Weaver in "MeToo Generation Faces Electoral Test in US," Financial Times, April 9, 2018.
Quoted by Hannah Smothers in "It's Official: A Record Number of Women are Running for House Seats," Cosmopolitan, April 6, 2018.
Quoted by Bonnie Kristian in "Female Candidates are Breastfeeding, Discussing Sexual Assault in Campaign Ads," The Week, April 3, 2018.
Quoted by Rebecca Savransky in "Study: Record Number of Women Running for Governor in 2018," The Hill, April 3, 2018.
Quoted by Heather Caygle in "Female Candidates Take on Taboos in New Campaign Ads," Politico, April 3, 2018.
Quoted by Michael Tackett in "A Wave of Young Women Running Campaigns, Changing Politics," The New York Times, April 3, 2018.
Quoted by NLC Staff in "Women in Politics: P is for Power," National League of Cities, March 30, 2018.
Quoted by Kyung Lah and Alberto Moya in "Women Seize on Their Past Abuse to Fuel Political Ambition," CNN, March 30, 2018.
Quoted by in "In Campaigns, Women Highlight Gender in Pitch to Voters," Missouri Lawyers Weekly, March 29, 2018.
Quoted by David Crary in "Off the Sideline," Greensburg Daily News, March 22, 2018.
Quoted by David Crary in "Students, Women, Teachers Embrace Activism," Daily Tribune, March 21, 2018.
Quoted by Lisa Belkin in "On Gender, Candidates in the Trump Era Negotiate a Changed Landscape," Yahoo News, March 16, 2018.
Quoted by Lisa Wirthman in "Will Colorado Finally Have a Woman Governor?," 5280, March 12, 2018.
Quoted by Vanessa Williams in "Black Women Underrepresented in Elected Offices, but Could Make Gains and History in 2018," The Washington Post, March 5, 2018.
Quoted by Katie Leslie in "Why They Run: Behind the Boom in Texas Women Vying for Congress," Dallas News, February 26, 2018.
Quoted by Brian Lyman in "As Democrats Recruit Women for Legislature; GOP Struggles ," Montgomery Advertiser, February 20, 2018.
Guest on WBHM Politics, February 15, 2018.
Quoted by John Austin in "Texas Women Campaign in Increasing Numbers," The Huntsville Item, February 15, 2018.
Quoted by Hannah Golden in "Women are Running Campaigns to Get Women Elected in 2018 & it's Fantastic," Elite Daily, February 14, 2018.
Quoted by Laura Bassett in "Eyeing the Midterms, Some Republican Women are Taking on the ‘Aging, White’ GOP," HuffPost, February 12, 2018.
Quoted by Laura Campbell in "2018 Women's Marches Reflect Political and Social Division," The Crown, February 2, 2018.
Quoted by Jackie Borchardt in "Are Ohio Lawmakers Serious about Confronting Sexual Harassment at the Statehouse?," Cleveland.com, February 1, 2018.
Quoted by Kristen Soltis Anderson in "Is the Republican Congresswoman an Endangered Species?," Washington Examiner, January 31, 2018.
Quoted by Lauren Gilger in "U.S. Sees Spike in Women Running for Political Office," 91.5 KJZZ, January 24, 2018.
Quoted by Daniel Dale in "Marches against Trump Turn into a Wave of Democratic Women Running for Office," MetroNewsCanada, January 21, 2018.
Quoted by Daniel Dale in "Marches against Trump Turn into a Wave of Democratic Women Running for Office," The Star, January 20, 2018.
Opinion: "Thanks to Trump, They Marched. Now More Women are Running for Office," Kelly Dittmar, NJ.com, January 19, 2018.
Quoted by Jessica Lee in "Two WA Democrats on Time Magazine Cover for being Part of Female-Run, Rebuke of Trump," The Seattle Times, January 19, 2018.
Quoted by Ashley Dejean in "The Women's March Never Ended. These Stats Prove It.," Mother Jones, January 19, 2018.
Quoted by Suzanne Baker in "Race to Run against Rep. Peter Roskam in November Reflects New Wave of Women Candidates," Chicago Tribune, January 16, 2018.
Quoted by Grace Housholder in "Women Gaining Seats at the Political Table," KPC News, January 15, 2018.
Research discussed by Susan Kelleher, in "'Why Not Me?' More Women Ask this Question as They Line up to Run for Office," Yakima Herald-Republic, January 13, 2018.
Quoted by Tiffany Pennamon in "Scholars Hold Mixed Reactions about an Oprah Presidential Run," Issues in Higher Education, January 10, 2018.
Quoted by Mary Sanchez in "Will 2018 Be the ‘Year of the Woman’ in Politics? We Could Do with an Era," The Kansas City Star, January 5, 2018.
Quoted by Veronica Stracqualursi in "Minnesota's Tina Smith Replaces Al Franken in Senate, Marking Record Number of 22 Female Senators," ABC News, January 3, 2018.
Quoted by Katie Leslie and Todd Gillman in "Farenthold isn't the First bad Boss in Congress, but in Current Climate, bBad Behavior Won't Stand," Dallas News, December 26, 2017.
Quoted by Jonathan Lai in "Professors’ New Classroom Worry? Their Words Going Viral," Pittsburgh Post-Gazzette, November 25, 2017.
Quoted by Michelle Cottle in "Can Republicans Stem the Tide of Women Abandoning Their Party?," The Atlantic, November 22, 2017.
Quoted by Eliza Relman in "New PACs are Emerging on the Left and the Right to Get Women Elected in 2018," Business Insider, November 19, 2017.
Quoted by in "Female Candidates are Targeting 3 Key Senate Seats in 2018," Business Insider, October 22, 2017.
Quoted by Jo Mannies in "‘We’re Fearless’: Black Women Wield Unprecedented Political Clout in the St. Louis Area," The St. Louis American, July 25, 2017.
Quoted by Amber Phillips in "Rush Limbaugh, Jane Sanders and a Meditation on the Definition of Sexism," The Washington Post, July 19, 2017.
Quoted by Amber Phillips in "Trump’s Mika Tweets Underscore a Dark Reality: For Him, It’s Always about Gender," The Washington Post, June 29, 2017.
Opinion: "You Can Try to Silence Women of Color in Congress, but It Won’t Work," Kelly Dittmar (with Kira Sanbonmatsu and Susan Carroll), Vox, June 20, 2017.
Guest on Nevada Public Radio, March 27, 2017.
Quoted by Erin Kelly in "Next Congress Likely to Have Record Number of Women, but Gains Still Slow," USA Today, October 31, 2016.
Quoted by Michael D. Regan in "This Map Shows the Number of Women in Every State Legislature," PBS Newshour, October 29, 2016.
Quoted by Stephen Loiaconi in "As Trump Fights for Female Vote, Campaign Revives Feud with Megyn Kelly," ABC 7, October 26, 2016.
Quoted by Juhie Bhatia in "Presidential Nominees Ignore Women of Color at Their Peril," Rolling Stone, August 28, 2016.
Research discussed by John Sides, in "Are Voters Really Guided by Gender Stereotypes? New Research Says No.," The Washington Post, June 27, 2016.
Quoted by Tom McLaughlin in "Clinton’s Victory Provides New Opportunity to Analyze Gender Dynamics, Says Researcher," Rutgers-Camden News Now, June 16, 2016.
Opinion: "In Hillary Clinton’s Run, the “Woman Card” Works in Surprising Ways. Here’s How.," Kelly Dittmar (with Melissa Deckman), The Washington Post, June 10, 2016.
Guest on PBS News Hour, March 31, 2016.
Opinion: "Black Women Voters: By the Numbers," Kelly Dittmar, Huffington Post, March 7, 2016.
Quoted by Jeanne Bonner in "What Do Your Google Searches Say about the Dems?," HLNTV, February 8, 2016.
Quoted by Catherine Rampell in "Be Pretty, but Not Too Pretty: Why Women Just Can’t Win," The Washington Post, January 21, 2016.
Research discussed by Nikhilesh De, in "Black Women See Progress but Still Face Challenges in Being Elected to Office," The Daily Targum, December 9, 2015.
Opinion: "Urgency and Optimism: Chisholm's Legacy and the Status of Black Women in American Politics Today," Kelly Dittmar (with Glynda Carr), Huffington Post, November 30, 2015.
Quoted by Jeanne Bonner in "On Major Social Networks, Hillary Tops Bernie 3 to 1," HLN, October 13, 2015.
Quoted by in "Trump's Remarks Draw Attention to Women's Issues," WPDE Carolina Live, August 11, 2015.
Quoted by Jay Newton-Small in "Why Women Should Thank Trump," Time, August 10, 2015.
Quoted by Naaz Modan in "Rutgers Center for American Politics Uses Twitter to 'Gender Watch' 2016 Elections," Daily Targum, April 21, 2015.
Quoted by Sarah Seltzer in "How Kate McKinnon’s Bonkers ‘SNL’ Impression Could Actually Help Hillary Clinton," Flavorwire, March 11, 2015.
Opinion: "A Recent History: Black Women's Political Representation," Kelly Dittmar (with Glynda Carr), Huffington Post, February 17, 2015.
Guest on MSNBC Melissa Harris-Perry, May 18, 2014.
Guest on MSNBC Melissa Harris-Perry, January 26, 2014.
Guest on Huffington Post Live, May 2, 2013.
Guest on Huffington Post Live, March 12, 2013.
Opinion: "Women’s Voices and Women’s Votes: Gender and the 2012 U.S. Presidential Election," Kelly Dittmar, e-International Relations, November 20, 2012.
Opinion: "The Academic Feminist: Election Forum," Kelly Dittmar, feministing.com, November 5, 2012.


"A Seat at the Table" (with Kira Sanbonmatsu and Susan J. Carroll) (Oxford University Press, 2018).

Includes unprecedented insights from over three-quarters of the women serving in the 114th Congress. Examines the interactions of gender with race/ethnicity, party, geography, and other factors shaping legislative behavior. Makes a strong case for why women's representation matters in Congress and, more generally, in American politics.

"Navigating Gendered Terrain: Stereotypes and Strategy in Political Campaigns" (Temple University Press, 2015).
Investigates how gender influences campaign strategy using survey and interview data with candidates and campaign practitioners. Considers the ways in which strategic and tactical decisions can influence the gendered nature of campaign institutions.
"Cracking the ‘Highest, Hardest Glass Ceiling:’ Women as Presidential and Vice Presidential Candidates" (with Susan J. Carroll), in Gender and Elections: Shaping the Future of American Politics, edited by Susan J. Carroll and Richard L. Fox (Cambridge University Press, 2014), 49-79.
Examines gender stereotypes in presidential campaigns, discussing the history of women running and particular candidacies of women for president and vice president in 2008 and 2012.
"Preparedness Meets Opportunity: A Case Study of Women’s Increased Representation in the New Jersey Legislature" (with Susan J. Carroll), in Breaking Male Dominance in Old Democracies, edited by Drude Dahlerup and Monique Leyenaar (Oxford University Press, 2013), 23-48.
Investigates the history of women in the New Jersey legislature, focusing specifically on the causes – preparedness, opportunity, and critical actors - for the dramatic increase of women from 2004 to 2011.
"A Woman on the Hill: A Front-Row Seat to Women's Impact in Congress" PS: Political Science and Politics 46, no. 1 (2013): 187-189.
Describes experience as an APSA Congressional Fellow and its influence on generating new and innovative research questions and methodology on the impact of women in office.
"Turning the Tables: Behind Every Successful Woman" in Women and Executive Office: Pathways and Performance, edited by Melody Rose (Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2012), 231-258.
Analyzes stereotypical expectations and media coverage of political spouses in the 2008 Democratic primary, focusing on the spousal role as an indicator of the gender dynamics of presidential office.