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More Women Than Ever Are Running For Seats In The U.S. House

by Elizabeth Winn

In 2018, a record 476 women ran for seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. This year, with a record number of 490 women filed to run for U.S. House seats in 2020 so far, women are exceeding the previous milestone and setting a new precedent in American politics, according to a recent summary released by the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) at Rutgers University.

“In 2018, amidst the excitement of a record-breaking year for women candidates, we often asked whether we were in the middle of a one-time spike in candidacies driven by unique circumstances, or if we were seeing the emergence of a new normal,” CAWP Director Debbie Walsh said in a statement. “This is a sign that the momentum isn’t letting up.” 

Today, 101 women serve in the U.S. House (88 Democrats and 13 Republicans), according to CAWP — just shy of the record highs set in 2018 of 102 women in the U.S. House and 26 women serving in the U.S. Senate.

Women make up just 25% of the U.S. House and and 23% of the U.S. Senate, but with women making up 50.8% of America’s population, according to the 2018 U.S. Census, it’s about time that the percentage of women in the House and Senate accurately reflects the American population.

Though there are still more women running as Democrats — 295, versus 195 Republicans — Walsh noted that the number of Republican women running for seats in the House has exceeded previous records this year. In 2010, a record number of 133 women filed to run as Republicans for a seat in the U.S. House, and now a decade later, a new record has been set with 195 women filed to run for a seat as part of the Republican party. 

“We are particularly encouraged to see Republican women stepping up and seeking office — we’ll never get to parity without women on both sides of the aisle running and winning,” Walsh said. The fact that, across the board, women in both parties are stepping up to run for seats in the U.S. House suggests that, hopefully, we’re approaching a future with more women in politics.

Top photo by Louis Velazquez via Unsplash 

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