DemDaily: The Pink Wave

February 1, 2018

In 1991 Attorney and Professor Anita Hill testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that she had been sexually harrassed by her former boss, Clarence Thomas, who was being considered for the US Supreme Court.  The televised grilling she received by the all-male panel and their dismissal of her allegations (and others) ignited public opinion.

Anita Hill's 1991 testimony spurred a movement

Although Thomas was ultimately appointed to the nation's highest court, the incident drew national attention to the issue of sexual harrassment, eventually changing federal law and the way private industry handled such cases. It also motivated women to run for office.

A year after Hill's testimony a record two dozen new women were elected to the US House and four to the Senate, crowning 1992 "The Year of the Woman."

Now, 26 years later, first-time femaie candidates are running again in record numbers, from State House to US House, and in municipal races across the country.

Whether motivated by the presidential election, the Women's March, Trump's attacks on women's healthcare and civil rights, or the flood of sexual misconduct allegations against public figures and the President himself, the #MeToo movement of this generation is ready for revenge.

Image: The Cut

The new flood of women running are also overwhelmingly Democrats, laying the groundwork for a "Pink Wave" that may usher in new Democratic majorities in the United States House and Senate.

By The Numbers

The US House
Partisan Breakdown: Democrats 193 to Republicans 238 (and four vacancies)

Current Women Members: D 62/R 21
Women Running in 2018: D 317/R 80

Four times as many Democratic women are running for the House as Republicans, and the number of Democratic women challenging incumbent Members is up 350%from 2016.

"Women are saying 'Yes, I want my voice heard. I need to do this for my family, for my community, for my state.'" -- Emily's List President Stephanie Shriock (NBC 1/29/18)

The Senate

Partisan Breakdown: Democrats 49 (including
two independents) to Republicans 51
Current Women Members:  D 17 /R 5
Women Running in 2018:  D 31/R 19

Twice as many Democratic women are running for Senate seats as Republican women.

Governors
Partisan Breakdown: Democrats 17 (including one Independent) to Republicans 33.
Current Women Members: Democrats 2 (Rhode Island, Oregon) to Republicans 4 (Alabama, Iowa, New Mexico, Oklahoma)
Women Running in 2018: D 48/R 31

At least 79 women are exploring runs for governor in 2018, twice the number who ran 25 years ago.

  Trump & Women
Although 41% of women voted for President Trump, his approval rating with the gender, according to Gallup, hit a dismal 31% in December -- down from a starting low of 39% when he took office.

That is good news for Democrats, as women made up 52% of the 2016 voting population, and averaged an even higher turnout in primary races.

The key to success in 2018 will be gettng out many of the women who stayed home in 2016, particularly millennials.

As always, it will be up to the women to make it happen.

DemList will keep you informed!

 

 

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Kimberly Scott
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Sources: NBCNews, The Cut, Time, Center for Women and American Politics at Rutgers University, FiveThirtyEight, Survey Monkey, NPR

 

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