Newswise — The 2020 presidential election made new history for women in the highest echelons of American politics. For the first time, more than one woman competed in a single presidential primary process, with six women running for the Democratic nomination, and Kamala Harris was elected as the first woman and first Black and South Asian vice president of the United States. But the presence and success of women candidates is just one indicator of how gender shaped the 2020 presidential campaign. The Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP), a unit of the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University, invites you to relive the history-making 2020 presidential election with our new digital timeline, Tracking Gender in the 2020 Presidential Election.

This timeline begins in late 2018 when Elizabeth Warren announced the formation of her exploratory committee and ends on January 20, 2021, when Kamala Harris was sworn in as the nation’s first woman vice president. Tracking Gender in the 2020 Presidential Election applies a gender and intersectional lens to key events during the 2020 presidential campaign. With embedded videos, graphics, and social media content, it provides clear examples of how presidential politics remain influenced by gender and race, specifically in: the ways in which candidates – women and men – navigate campaigns; the ways candidates are perceived, evaluated, and treated by voters, media, and opponents; and the ways in which voters make electoral decisions. The timeline is easy to explore with sortable tags (e.g. electability, gender bias, masculinity, white privilege) and includes brief analyses and context in individual posts.

“The first draft of the history of the 2020 presidential election is being written. This multimedia resource serves as an archive and illustration of how gender shaped the landscape upon which the campaign was contested and how it was won,” said Dr. Kelly Dittmar, CAWP’s director of research and author of the timeline project.

Tracking Gender in the 2020 Presidential Election pairs the digital timeline with an introductory essay to provide additional context and key themes explored and illustrated in the timeline itself. Together, they are an invaluable resource for educators, students, researchers, and media, in addition to all those reflecting on 2020 and those preparing to watch the 2024 presidential election unfold.

Explore the full timeline here and read the introductory essay and additional context from Dr. Dittmar here.


About CAWP 

The Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP), a unit of the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is nationally recognized as the leading source of scholarly research and current data about women’s political participation in the United States. Its mission is to promote greater knowledge and understanding about the role of women in American politics, enhance women's influence in public life, and expand the diversity of women in politics and government. CAWP’s education and outreach programs translate research findings into action, addressing women’s under-representation in political leadership with effective, intersectional, and imaginative programs serving a variety of audiences. As the world has watched Americans considering female candidates for the nation's highest offices, CAWP’s five decades of analyzing and interpreting women’s participation in American politics have provided a foundation and context for the discussion.