Date of Award

Spring 5-4-2021

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Political Science

First Advisor

Amy Steigerwalt

Second Advisor

Sarah Gershon

Third Advisor

Michael Fix


A clear gender gap exists in the Republican Party. Less female Republicans also serve on state judiciaries compared to their male counterparts. This dissertation seeks to better define the reasons why we see so few women on state judiciaries. I propose a Supply and Demand Theory to test the gender gap on state judiciaries. First, I theorize that there exists a diminished supply of Republican women even available to ascend to state judiciaries. I also look at whether female lawyers that identify as Republican have lower ambition levels of ascending to the state bench. Through the demand side theory, I theorize that voter biases exist among Republican voters and that there are also lower levels of recruitment among Republican elites. Through this dissertation, I will use both survey data and survey experiment data to determine what factors influence the gender gap on state judiciaries.


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