The Democratic Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives is confident that her party will win the majority of House seats in November, putting them back in power and without a doubt making her (again) the Speaker of the House.
According to a new race-by-race analysis by the Cook Political Report this November could see American voters elect more than 100 women to the House for the first time in history.
As Cook says there will be more new women elected to the House this year than in any other election, they also say the increase will be entirely Democratic, as the number of Republican women in the House is expected to decline.
There are likely to be from 30 to 40 NEW women Members of Congress who will take office next January. The previous record was 24 set in 1992, when Bill Clinton won election as president, in a year that was also called “Year of the Woman.”
Political experts said that the 1992 wave that brought so many women into Congress occurred as a backlash against Clarence Thomas’s Supreme Court confirmation. Women activists strongly opposed the nomination of Thomas but their efforts were to no avail. So they went to the ballot box to vent their frustration, much as may happen this year.
There is no question that the election of 2018 will be seen as another “backlash election” — in this case to the anti-woman rhetoric and policies of President Donald Trump.
Trump’s electoral triumph over Hillary Clinton launched the Women’s March but it also started an avalanche of Democratic women running for public office, including Congress.
Many of the women running this year are first-time candidates, and they have a wide range of backgrounds, from former Navy helicopter pilots to former CIA officers to former United Nations ambassadors.
There are 254 non-incumbent Democratic nominees for the House of Representatives this year, and fully 50 percent of them are women, compared to 18 percent of Republican candidates who are women.
Right now there are 61 female Democrats and 23 female Republicans serving in the House. But after November, the number of women Democratic representatives is expected to be about 80.
This year’s voters in Democratic primaries have been emphatic that they believe that the best way to send a message to Trump is to send women to Congress.
In Democratic House primaries, female candidates have won 69 percent of the time, which is phenomenal. (In GOP primaries, a female candidate has won just 35 percent of the time.)
The surge of women Democratic congressional candidates is also leading to younger and more progressive candidates, which could significantly change the complexion of Washington.
Examples of this include the victories of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York and Ayanna Pressley in Massachusetts, both of whom beat older, incumbent white men in Democratic primaries.
In Pennsylvania a new congressional map could help elect four new Democratic women from the Philadelphia suburbs: Madeleine Dean (PA-04), Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-05), Chrissy Houlahan (PA-06) and Susan Wild (PA-07).
Throughout the country this phenomenon is occurring. Many women hate Donald Trump and everything he stands for, but they love the fact that they may be in a position to go to Washington and hold hearings in the House and hold the president accountable for his misdeeds.
It’s been a long time coming, but we may be finally seeing a time when the old saying becomes true: Women truly do belong in the House.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.