Women Are Running for Office—And Funding Democrats—Like Never Before

A wave of women is grabbing 2018 by the ballots.

Gluekit

“The women are in my grill no matter where I go,” Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.) groused in early 2017 as he was dogged by some of the many grassroots activists spurred to action by the election of President Donald Trump. Since then, the women-led “resistance” has fueled a wave of Democratic candidates and sparked hope that female voters will stop Trump in his tracks

See Jane Run

1992 was declared the “Year of the Woman” after 24 women won House seats for the first time and four new women joined the Senate. In 2018, there has been a surge in women running for Congress. Three-fourths of them are Democrats, and 68 percent are challengers or running for open seats.

Women running for House, 1992-2018

 
Women running for Senate, 1992-2018

Ladies’ Firsts

2018 has been the biggest year for women winning primaries in House, Senate, gubernatorial, and state legislature races.

Women are…

Women may lead 35 congressional committees and subcommittees if Democrats win the House.

Mad Money

Women’s campaign donations to congressional candidates have exceeded the previous high set in 2016. While men’s donations are evenly split between parties, women’s gifts are breaking toward Democrats in a big way.

Women’s contributions to candidates and parties

 
Women’s contributions to congressional candidates

Blue Streak

In 2018, more than 42,000 women contacted Emily’s List about running as pro-choice Democrats. In 2016, that number was 920.

Potential candidates contacting Emily’s List

25% of all state legislators are women. Of those, 61% are Democrats70% of the more than 2,800 women running for statehouses are Democrats.

All the President’s Men

Trump can blame women for his historic unpopularity. As of mid-October, his approval rating was less than 50 percent with almost every subgroup of women.

Trump’s disapproval ratings

Millennial registered voters who identify as…

Pump and Dump Trump

Women with campaign ads in 2018 in which they breastfed their babies: 2

Nevertheless, She Resisted

Reality Check

Nearly half of female Democratic House candidates are challenging incumbents97% of House incumbents were reelected in 2016.


Image credits: Photo illustration by Gluekit; source photos: Epics/Getty, Spenser Platt/Getty, Scott Eisen/Getty; Krish for Maryland; Kelda for Governor; WomensMarch.com; iStockphoto

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

We Recommend

Latest

Give a Year of the Truth

at our special holiday rate

just $12

Order Now

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.