Voter Mobilization

Women Breaking Records in the November 2018 Midterm Elections

Despite the negativity and worry surrounding the 2018 midterm elections, set for Nov. 6, there is positive news emerging– record numbers of women are running for office across the country in the upcoming election. According to Debbie Walsh, director of the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) at Rutgers University, “We are certainly on track to see a record number of women in the 116th Congress.” Below are a just a few of the many exciting statistics and developments regarding women in the November 2018 elections.

  • 235 women (183 Democrats, 52 Republicans) have won House nominations. This is up from the previous record of 167 (120 Democrats, 47 Republicans) in 2016.
  • Despite these record numbers, Republicans fell short of their 2004 record of 53 by one nomination.
    Women make up 28.7% of all major party nominees, 42.9% of Democratic nominees and 13.3% of Republican nominees.
  • This year, a record-breaking 22 (15 Democrats, 7 Republicans) women have won major-party nominations for the U.S. Senate. This beats the 2012 record of 18 (12 Democrats, 6 Republicans).
  • Women make up 32.4% of all major-party nominees for the Senate, and an incredible 42.9% of Democratic nominees are women.
  • This year, a record-breaking 32 congressional races are being fought between two woman major-party nominees. This beats the 2002 record of 19 all-women races.
  • Women of Color
    Deb Haaland (D) of New Mexico is likely to become the first Native American woman in Congress. If Sharice Davids (D) in Kansas’ 3rd congressional district wins her challenging race, she will join her.
  • 80 women of color are running for seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. This beats the 2016 record of 55 nominees by an incredible 25 nominations. 65 are Democrats, beating the previous record of 42 in 2016, and 15 are Republicans, up from 13 in 2016.
  • Women of color make up 34.2% of all women nominees.
  • States Breaking Records
    Pennsylvania is currently the largest state in the country without a woman in its congressional delegation. This will change this year, as Pearl Kim (R) and Marie Gay Scanlon (D) are both competing on major party tickets for the 5th congressional district.
  • South Carolina also has no women currently in Congress, but Katie Arrington (R) is currently the favorite to win the 1st congressional district.
  • Unfortunately, South Dakota is set to lose its only female congressional representative this year, as Rep. Kristi Noem (R) is running for governor in the state.
  • Arizona is set to have its first woman senator this year because both major-party nominees are women (Martha McSally (R) and Kyrsten Sinema (D)).
  • Women in State-Level Races
    16 women (12 Democrats, 4 Republicans) have been nominated for gubernatorial seats this year. This is an increase of 6 nominations from the previous record of 10 female nominees in 1994.
  • 128 women have won nominations for statewide elected executive offices, beating the previous record of 121.
  • An incredible 3379 women have won nominations for state legislatures around the country, beating the 2016 record of 2649 by over 700 nominations.

Despite these exciting developments, women are still underrepresented as a proportion of all nominees, and the disparities between parties are notable. That said, women have broken records by incredible margins at almost every level of office, from statewide legislatures to the U.S. Senate. These wonderful achievements should not be overlooked.

For more amazing statistics and other updates on women in politics, go to http://www.cawp.rutgers.edu/potential-candidate-summary-2018

Data gathered from publications by the Center for American Women and Politics in the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J.