Nov 2, 2023 - Politics

Women made up 42% of Michigan political donations in 2022

Share of 2022 campaign funds donated by women
Reproduced from Rutgers; Note: States with top-two or top-four primary systems were also excluded; Map: Axios Visuals

Women in Michigan — one of 12 states with a female governor — poured more money into political candidates during the last general election cycle than all but three states.

Why it matters: Women are not only underrepresented as political candidates across the country, they're also underrepresented as donors, Axios' Emma Hurt reports.

Driving the news: Women donors made up just 29% - 33% of the contributions to general election candidates at statewide and state legislative levels between 2019 and 2022.

  • That's according to a new report on the "donor gap" from Rutgers' Center for American Women and Politics using data from OpenSecrets.

Why it matters: While women are registered to vote at higher rates than men, they remain disproportionately absent from the halls of political power — and from the political donations fueling those halls.

Zoom in: Women made up 42% of political donations in Michigan's statewide races in the 2022 election.

  • Only women in Colorado (46%), Maine (43%) and Kansas (43%) gave more. Both of the latter states have women governors.

What's happening: The underrepresentation of women candidates and donors are entwined, Kira Sanbonmatsu, a Rutgers political science professor and the report's lead researcher, told Axios.

  • "We're not able to disentangle which comes first ... it's a mutually reinforcing relationship," she said.

State of play: Just 33% of state legislators are women. Only eight of the 28 governors running for re-election in 2022 were women.

The big picture: While the report found the disparity to be worse in some states — just 17% of Illinois' contributions in 2022 were from women — no state had contributions equivalent to its female population last year.

What they're saying: "Women are voting," Sanbonmatsu said. "They're interested in politics. They're engaged. They maybe haven't been recruited yet in this capacity."


Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Detroit.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Detroit stories

No stories could be found


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Detroit.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more