WASHINGTON — In November, Americans could elect more than 100 women to the House for the first time in history — and put more new women in the House than in any prior election, a new race-by-race analysis shows.
But the impending surge is being driven entirely by Democrats: The number of Republican women in the House is actually poised to decline.
Between 30 and 40 new women are poised to enter the House next January, shattering the previous record of 24 set in 1992's "Year of the Woman." And much as pundits interpreted 1992's wave as a backlash against Clarence Thomas's Supreme Court confirmation, 2018 is now clearly a backlash to President Donald Trump's election.
Trump's victory over Hillary Clinton didn't just launch the Women's March; it set off an avalanche of Democratic women running for Congress, many of them first-time candidates, ranging from former Navy helicopter pilots to former CIA officers. Of the 254 non-incumbent Democratic nominees for the House, an unheard-of 50 percent are women, compared to 18 percent of Republicans.
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Currently, there are 61 female Democrats and 23 female Republicans serving in the House. But after November, Democrats could expand their ranks of women by more than a third. Meanwhile, the GOP's ranks could shrink by up to a third.
Democratic primary voters have made clear they feel the best way to send a message to Trump is to send a woman to Congress: In Democratic House primaries featuring at least one man, one woman and no incumbent on the ballot, a female candidate has won 69 percent of the time. In the same situations on the GOP side, a female candidate has won just 35 percent of the time.
A pair of insurgent female progressives, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley, defeated 20-year Democratic incumbents, Reps. Joe Crowley (NY-14) and Mike Capuano (MA-07), in highly symbolic primaries that made national headlines.
But Pennsylvania stands out as the state where Democratic women are poised to gain the most. In February, the state's top court ordered a new congressional map that prompted multiple GOP retirements and could help elect a quartet of Democratic women from the Philadelphia suburbs: Madeleine Dean (PA-04), Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-05), Chrissy Houlahan (PA-06) and Susan Wild (PA-07).