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If there is a blue wave, women will drive it

Democratic women are favored to win in 68 of the 211 House races in which they are running, and could add as many as 45 to their ranks if they do well in competitive races, according to an analysis of POLITICO’s race ratings.

Republican women look far less likely to improve their seat count in the House. If they win only those races in which they are favored, Republican women would hold only 11 seats — 12 fewer than they do currently.

Women currently hold 20 percent of the seats in Congress

There are 84 women in the House, and 23 in the Senate.
House
Senate

Source: Rutgers Center for American Women and Politics and POLITICO’s race ratings

Overall, there are an unprecedented number of women running for Congress, with female candidates in almost half of all House races and 17 percent of all Senate races. We used our race ratings to predict how likely it is that women will surpass their current count of 107 seats in Congress — 84 in the House and 23 in the Senate.

While there is a good chance that women will see gains in the House, women in the Senate are likely to struggle to maintain their numbers. The Senate stands to gain only three extra women if female candidates win all of their competitive races.

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The party gap

Democratic women running for seats in the House outnumber female Republican candidates by more than three to one. Democratic women also are more likely to be favored in races against Republicans, the vast majority of which are Republican men.

Who are women in the House challenging?

The majority of races involve Democratic women challenging Republican men
Races women are likely to win
Dem. women vs. GOP men
GOP women vs. Dem. men
Dem. women vs. GOP women
GOP women vs. Dem. women

Dem. woman v. Dem. woman*

Races women are likely lose
Dem. women vs. GOP men
GOP women vs. Dem. men
Dem. women vs. GOP women
GOP women vs. Dem. women
Dem. women vs. multiple**

*Two Democratic women are running in CA-44’s race.

Those numbers are consistent with the current makeup of Congress, where three quarters of the women are Democrats — 61 Democrats to 23 Republicans in the House and 17 to six in the Senate. Historically, nearly twice as many Democratic as Republican women have served in Congress, 208 to 114.

The gap between Democratic and Republican women is at least partially due to candidate recruitment and differing levels of support and infrastructure, according to Kelly Dittmar, a scholar at Rutgers University’s Center for American Women and Politics. Democrats, Dittmar says, have put more of an emphasis on “recruitment and training that are targeted at women.”

The party gap persists among women of color

A large part of Democratic women’s predicted success in the House relies on women of color, who represent more than two in five Democratic women favored to win their races. None of the Republican women of color running for House seats are favored in POLITICO’s ratings.

Breakdown of women candidates of color in the House

Democratic women of color look like they will have more gains than their Republican counterparts
Races women of color are likely to win

Competitive races
Republicans

Races women of color are likely to lose
Republicans



Source: Politics, Policy, Political News Top Stories

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