“When women run, women win.” That’s been the line on getting more women into public office; if only there were more candidates, there would be more elected.
So with a record 256 women running for the House and Senate this year, will there be a record-breaking surge of women in office come January?
Probably, probably not, and maybe. It depends on which office you’re following, and what happens in toss-up races over the next seven weeks.
This has definitely been a historic year so far: The 2018 midterms have broken the record for the number of female candidates who filed as well as for the number and share of women who won primaries in House and Senate contests. The number of women winning primaries for the governor’s office is also the highest ever, and the share is the highest since 2000.
There are more woman vs. woman contests than ever before: 33, up from a previous record of 19 in 2002 and the single digits in 1992, the so-called Year of the Woman.
The best chances for women to make history are in the House, where Democratic women won primaries at a higher rate than any other group, male or female. Women of color make up one-third of all House candidates, also a record.
Still, it is possible that the number of women will decline or remain at status quo in Congress and in the governors’ offices.
How can that be, when the number of women running has shot up so much?
It is mostly because a majority of female candidates are running in House districts that favor the other party — either running for open seats, or challenging incumbents, who almost always win.
By DENISE LU and KATE ZERNIKE SEPT. 14, 2018
Published in the New York Times