Hill Diversity

senatereport

Digging Deeper: 2020 Senate Democratic Caucus Diversity Numbers

On July 8, 2020, the Senate Democratic Caucus released an update of the demographic data (find 2020 numbers here) on the staff of Democratic Senators (find 2019 numbers here). The analysis below ranks the offices on their total diversity in the following categories:

 

Top Three Racially Diverse Staff in Personal Offices

  1. Senator Cory Booker (NJ)—65%
  2. Senator Brian Schatz (HI)—64%
  3. Senator Kamala Harris (CA)—61%

 

Top Three Racially Diverse Staff in Committee Offices

  1. Indian Affairs Committee, Ranking Member Tom Udall (NM)—83%
  2. Banking Committee, Ranking Member Sherrod Brown (OH)—47%
  3. Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC), Ranking Member Gary Peters (MI)—44%

 

Top Senators with Black Staff in Personal Offices

  1. Senator Cory Booker (NJ); Senator Doug Jones (AL)—33%
  2. Senator Tim Kaine (VA)—31%
  3. Senator Sherrod Brown (OH)—27%

 

Top Senators with Latino/a Staff in Personal Offices

  1. Senator Martin Heinrich (NM)—47%
  2. Senator Tom Udall (NM)—41%
  3. Senator Jacky Rosen (NV)—31%

 

Top Senators with AAPI Staff in Personal Offices

  1. Senator Brian Schatz (HI)—45%
  2. Senator Mazie Hirono (HI)—32%
  3. Senator Amy Klobuchar (MN)—18%

 

Top Senators with Women Staff in Personal Offices

  1. Senator Bernie Sanders (VT)—72%
  2. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (NY); Senator Doug Jones (AL)—70%
  3. Senator Chris Van Hollen (MD)—69%

 

Top Senators with LGBT Staff in Personal Offices

  1. Senator Patty Murray (WA)—22%
  2. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (NV)—21%
  3. Senator Tammy Baldwin (WI); Senator Kamala Harris (CA); Senator Tim Kaine (VA); Senator Kyrsten Sinema (AZ)—19%

 

Least Racially Diverse Staff in Personal Offices

  1. Senator Angus King (ME); Senator Jon Tester (MT)—8%
  2. Senator Patrick Leahy (VT)—9%
  3. Senator Joe Manchin (WV)—11%

 

Least Racially Diverse Staff in Committee Offices

  1. Finance Committee, Ranking Member Ron Wyden (OR)—3%
  2. Appropriations Committee, Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (VT)—9%
  3. Agriculture Committee, Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (MI)—13%
  4. Armed Services Committee, Ranking Member Jack Reed (RI)—13%

 

Committee Offices with Lowest Percentage of Black Staff

Armed Services Committee, Ranking Member Jack Reed (RI)—0%
Energy Committee, Ranking Member Joe Manchin (WV)—0%
Indian Affairs Committee, Ranking Member Tom Udall (NM)—0%
Veterans Affairs Committee, Ranking Member Jon Tester (MT)—0%
Finance Committee, Ranking Member Ron Wyden (OR)—3%

 

Committee Offices with Lowest Percentage of Latino Staff

Armed Services Committee, Ranking Member Jack Reed (RI)—0%
Commerce Committee, Ranking Member Maria Cantwell (WA)—0%
Finance Committee, Ranking Member Ron Wyden (OR)—0%
Rules Committee, Ranking Member Amy Klobuchar (MN)—0%
Appropriations Committee, Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (VT)—2%
HSGAC Committee, Ranking Member Gary Peters (MI)—4%

 

Senators Up by More Than 5 Points from 2019 in Racial Diversity Among Staff

  1. Senator Patty Murray (WA) (+11)
  2. Senator Debbie Stabenow (MI) (+10)
  3. Senator Kyrsten Sinema (AZ) (+8)
  4. Senator Chris Coons (DE) (+7)
  5. Senator Amy Klobuchar (MN); Senator Maria Cantwell (WA) (+6)

 

Senators Down by More Than 5 Points from 2019 in Black Staff

  1. Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA) (-8)
  2. Senator Tina Smith (MN) (-7)
  3. Senator Sherrod Brown (OH) (-6)

 

Senators With Greatest Gap Between Black Staff and Black State Population (2019 Census Estimates)

Senator Tom Carper (DE) 11% Black staff, 23% Black state population
Senator Van Hollen (MD) 24% Black Staff, 31% Black state population
Senator Ben Cardin (MD) 26% Black Staff, 31% Black state population

Note: In 2016 African Americans accounted for 34% of Delaware’s Democratic turnout and 47% of Maryland’s Democratic turnout. (Data provided by the analytics company BlueLabs).

 

Committees Up by More Than 5 Points from 2019 in Racial Diversity Among Staff

  1. Agriculture Committee, Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (MI) (+13)
  2. Banking Committee, Ranking Member Sherrod Brown (OH) (+11)
  3. HSGAC Committee, Ranking Member Gary Peters (MI) (+9)
  4. Energy Committee, Ranking Member Joe Manchin (WV) (+7)
  5. Veterans Affairs Committee, Ranking Member Jon Tester (MT) (+6)

 

Committees Down by More Than 5 Points from 2019 in Racial Diversity Among Staff

  1. Rules Committee, Ranking Member Amy Klobuchar (MN) (-17)
  2. Aging Committee, Ranking Member Robert Casey (PA) (-10)

 

Committees Up by More Than 5 Points from 2019 in Black Staff

  1. Judiciary Committee, Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (CA) (+8)
  2. Agriculture Committee, Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (MI) (+6)

 

Committees Down by 5 Points from 2019 in Black Staff

  1. Aging Committee, Ranking Member Robert Casey (PA) (-10)
  2. Banking Committee, Ranking Member Sherrod Brown (OH) (-9)
  3. HSGAC Committee, Ranking Member Gary Peters (MI); Rules Committee, Ranking Member Amy Klobuchar (MN) (-6)

 

 

Background

A 2015 Joint Center report, Racial Diversity Among Top Senate Staff, found people of color accounted for only 7.1 percent of top Senate staffers, and African Americans accounted for less than 1 percent of these top staffers.
In March 2017, Democratic Senators adopted a set of rules to diversify overwhelmingly White offices. Offices promised to: 1) engage with the Senate Democratic Diversity Initiative to identify candidates; 2) engage with congressional staff associations and other groups to attract diverse resumes, and 3) interview diverse applicants. Since 2017, the Senate Democrats have released a diversity report every year. Our analysis from 2018 can be found here, and 2019 can be found here. The Joint Center’s initial statement on the 2020 data commending Democrats for releasing the data and urging more detailed data is here. The Joint Center’s 2018 report Racial Diversity Among Top U.S. House Staff is here.