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This is a rundown of where women will (or could) stand in the 113th Congress, both in the Senate and the House


Women currently hold 17 seats in the Senate (17%). 12 Democrats, 5 Republicans.

Of the 33 seats up in this election, 8 are held by women.

2 women are retiring this year, Kay Bailey Hutchison and Olympia Snowe, both Republicans. So we start off at -2.

Of the six remaining, 5 are virtually assured of being re-elected.

  • Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
  • Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
  • Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
  • Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
  • Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)

This leaves Claire McCaskill (D-MO), who was originally thought to be a goner, but now is widely expected to hold on. So we hold steady at -2.

In the leftover 27 races, 9 have women running on major party tickets.

Connecticut: Linda McMahon (R) v. Chris Murphy (D)
Wrestling mogul McMahon is running for the Senate in the nutmeg state for the second time, and is headed for her second loss, despite spending many of her millions on her campaign. Likely Male

Hawaii: Mazie Hirono (D) vs. Linda Lingle (R)
This race, featuring Congresswoman Mazie Hirono and former Governor Linda Lingle is one of three (including CA and NY) where a woman will win no matter what. However, Hirono is overwhelmingly favored. Female Lock
+1, net -1

Maine: Cynthia Dill (D) v. Angus King (I) v. Charlie Summers (R)
This three-way race will decide who gets to replace one of the retiring women, Republican Olympia Snowe. Unfortunately, Dill is the least likely of the three major candidates to win the election tomorrow. Safe Male

Massachusetts: Elizabeth Warren (D) v. Scott Brown (R-Inc.)
Sen. Brown was originally thought to be invincible after his victory in a 2010 special election. However, the deep blue nature of the Bay State has reasserted itself, and Elizabeth Warren is the favorite to win the election. Likely Female
+1, net 0

Nebraska: Deb Fischer (R) v. Bob Kerrey (D)
These candidates are running to replace retiring Democrat Ben Nelson. Fischer was once thought to be the overwhelming favorite, but Kerrey, being a former Senator himself, has been closing the gap considerably recently. He still has a tough road to hoe, however. Lean Female
+1, net +1

Nevada: Shelley Berkley (D) v. Dean Heller (R-Inc.)
Up until spring last year, Berkley and Heller were colleagues in the House, and then Heller was appointed to the Senate to replace John Ensign. Most polls have given Heller the edge, sometimes a very large edge, but Nevada is very hard to poll, and they often underestimate Democratic strength. Tossup

North Dakota: Heidi Heitkamp (D) v. Rick Berg (R)
Democrat Kent Conrad is retiring. Like Nebraska, this was at one point though to be an easy Republican pickup, given the conservative nature of the state. However, Heitkamp, who remains a popular figure from her two terms as Attorney General has pulled even, if not ahead in most reputable polls (ND has a ban on robopolls so the polling can be scattershot at best sometimes). I'm giving her the edge. Tilt Female
+1, net +2

New Mexico: Heather Wilson (R) v. Martin Heinrich (D)
Democrat Jeff Bingaman is retiring. Wilson was the best recruit the Republicans could get, but it won't be enough. Safe Male

Wisconsin: Tammy Baldwin (D) v. Tommy Thompson (R)
Democrat Herb Kohl is retiring. Baldwin was considered to be one of our weakest possible recruits and Tommy Thompson the Republicans' strongest. It's a little shocking how well Baldwin has done, or conversely, how poorly Thompson has campaigned. Lean Female
+1, net +3

So, my prediction is that women will gain a net of 3 seats in the Senate, with one race being a tossup between a male and female. This brings women's representation in the Senate to 20, with a possibility of 21.

I'll write up a second diary talking about the House later today.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (5+ / 0-)

    24, Practical Progressive Democrat (-4.75, -4.51), DKE Gay Caucus Majority Leader, IN-02; Swingnut. Gregg/Simpson for Governor! Donnelly for Senate! Mullen for Congress!

    by HoosierD42 on Mon Nov 05, 2012 at 01:55:24 AM PST

  •  If you are right, there will be (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Clem Yeobright, MichaelNY

    20 women in the senate then, with 9 of them in this one class. Thus, the next two senate cycles will each only have about 5 women defending their seats. I'd be fine though if every Republican woman lost her seat, it means nothing to me that a right winger is female.

  •  Good job (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Zack from the SFV

    But who do you think will win in NV? It's crunch time now, time to make a prediction.

    Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

    by MichaelNY on Mon Nov 05, 2012 at 06:58:41 AM PST

  •  Interesting that (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    it seems almost certain Republicans will go down from 5 to 4 female senators, while Democrats will increase from 12 to 14-17.

    Gender disparity getting wider, and not even in a wave year.  2010 saw the GOP close the gender representation gap, 2008 and 2006 saw us expand it, and this goes for the House and governors as well (and the same pattern exists for the racial minority representation gap in those years as well).

    I'm looking at the House and I predict Democrats add a net gain of 9 women (the range is 7 to 14 depending on the competitive races).  I have the GOP losing a net 4 women (the range is -2 to -6 depending on competitive races).  It is unlikely that both +7 Dem and -6 GOP happen (as the low end of the Dem pickups correlates with a bad year for us, but the high end of the GOP losses correlates with a good year for us), so it seems likely that women will increase by a significant amount in the next House, after only going +1 in 2008 and then -1 in 2006.

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