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Women Surpass House, Senate Candidate Records as Final November Slates are Set
Democrats continue to lead GOP in nominating women
ATTENTION POLITICAL, ASSIGNMENT EDITORS, for more information, call Debbie Walsh, director, Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP), at 732-932-9384, ext. 227, or Gilda Morales, CAWP information services manager, at 732-932-9384, ext. 264.
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – With all candidates now chosen for the Nov. 6 elections, the number of women running for Congress has surged past previous records, according to the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP), a unit of Rutgers’ Eagleton Institute of Politics. Eighteen women (12 Democrats, six Republicans) will be candidates for the U.S. Senate, while 163 women (116 D, 47 R) are on the ballot for the U.S. House of Representatives. The previous records were 14 Senate candidates (9 D, 5 R) in 2010 and 141 House candidates (88 D, 53 R) in 2004.
“Not since the so-called ‘Year of the Woman’ in 1992 have we seen such a leap in the number of women stepping forward to contend for congressional seats,” observed CAWP Director Debbie Walsh. “Many of the same factors are in play – the crucial first election after reapportionment and redistricting, news events underscoring the need for women’s voices in policymaking and a presidential election year generating political excitement.”
More than twice as many Democratic women as Republican women will stand for election to the Senate and House this year. The Democrats start out with substantially more incumbents seeking re-election (six D, no R senators, 45 D, 21 R representatives), but far more Democratic nonincumbents have also survived primaries. Among nonincumbent candidates who sought House seats, 57 percent of Democratic women won their primaries, but only 39 percent of Republican women did.
Women will oppose other women in three Senate races (Calif., Hawaii and New York) and 12 House races. The total number of woman-versus-woman races for the Senate and House ties the previous record of 15 set in 1998.
With only 11 races for governor this year, just one woman (Maggie Hassan, D-N.H.) will be on the general election ballot. Whether Hassan wins or loses the number of women governors will decline from the current six. The four current GOP women governors are not up for election this year, and the two current Democratic women governors both declined to run for re-election. Should Hassan lose, there would be no Democratic woman governor for the first time since 1996. A record nine women governors served in 2004 and 2007.
Seven women (5 D, 2 R) are nominated for lieutenant governor and 34 (23 D, 11 R) for other statewide elective executive offices.
Complete information about women candidates in 2012 – along with background about women in past elections – is available here.
The Center for American Women and Politics is a university-based research, education and public service center. Its mission is to promote greater knowledge and understanding about women’s changing relationship to politics and government, and to enhance women’s influence and leadership in public life. CAWP is a leading authority in its field and a respected bridge between the academic and political worlds.
Media Contact: Kathy Kleeman
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