More women were elected to Congress on Election Day than in any previous year in the history of the United States.
The Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University produced data Thursday showing a steady gain in female congressional seats and a marked rise in Republican women running for House or Senate in 2020.
Between Democrats and Republicans, 127 women were elected to Congress, a 17-person gain from 2016, with most of them being Democratic candidates. Of the 127 female victors, 105 were Democrats, and 22 were Republicans.
Although the Republican number pales in comparison to the Democratic haul, Republican Rep. Michael McCaul, the ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said he was excited about the prospect of more women running for Congress in the Republican Party after seeing a rise in female Republican candidates.
“We’ve been hearing for years now how Democrats are the party of women, but this election has proven that’s not true,” McCaul told the Hill on Thursday. “We’ve got at least 12 new Republican women headed to Washington next year, and we are hopeful to add even more once the final vote is tallied. I’m excited to have all of these talented and impressive women joining our conference and would love to have their diverse experiences and perspectives on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.”
Some of the top female Republican incumbents won tough races to stay in Congress. Sens. Joni Ernst in Iowa and Susan Collins in Maine hung on to defeat surging challengers, and Cynthia Lummis picked up the vacated seat left by Wyoming Sen. Michael Enzi.
Not all Republicans held on to their seats.
Arizona Republican Sen. Martha McSally appears likely to lose to Democratic challenger and former astronaut Mark Kelly.
The number of women who ran for Congress in 2020 stood at 583, which represents a 20% uptick since 2016. Although the lion’s share of the record was set by Democratic women, more than 200 Republican women entered congressional races this year, nearly 75% more than ran in 2016, according to the CAWP.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rep. Ilhan Omar, two of the most progressive representatives in Congress, both claimed victory in their first reelection bids.
Tags: News, Congress, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Joni Ernst, Campaigns, 2020 Elections, Gender Issues, Campaign 2020
Original Author: Spencer Neale
Original Location: More women were elected to Congress than ever before on Tuesday