Understanding the Glass Ceiling
Congressional districts in the United States vary widely in their demographic characteristics. Candidates rely heavily on demographic data to create their campaign strategies, and they often hire consulting firms to provide them with detailed demographic data and suggestions for targeting voters in their districts. In effect, there are districts that are "women-friendly." Moreover, the characteristics that make a district women-friendly are not identical to those associated with party victories. Demographics have been used to explain and predict the outcome of presidential elections. These factors have also taken center stage in the study of redistricting and, in particular, racial and partisan gerrymandering. Democrats receive strong support from lower socioeconomic groups, blue collar workers, minority ethnic and religious groups and central city voters, while Republicans receive their largest support from higher socioeconomic groups, white collar workers, whites, Protestants, and the suburban voters.