GOP Sounds Alarm After Women Candidates' Losses

The midterms were the Year of the Woman for Democrats in Congress, but for Republicans it was a year of sharp decline.  While Democrats will add 35 women to their already strong bench in the House (64 serve in the 115th Congress), the Republican tally will fall to 13 from 23.

In the Senate, the numbers were less harsh for the GOP. A total of 24 women will take seats in the chamber next month -- 17 Democrats and seven Republicans. Eleven female Democrats and three Republican women won races last month, which, combined with the House tally, will result in the smallest number of GOP women in Congress since 1994.

These results have caused some within the party to hit the panic button on how to reverse this trend. 

“This is rock bottom and there’s only one way to go from here and that’s up,” said Sarah Chamberlain, president of the Main Street Republican Partnership. “Republicans need to recruit, support and raise money for women candidates to get them elected.” 

For years, the GOP number was growing organically without much attention to the issue.  Explained Chamberlain, “Republicans go for the best candidate, regardless of gender, and are just as likely to pick a male candidate over a woman if they have a better chance of winning.”  In contrast, she added, this happens less in the Democratic Party because they “get [more] excited about having women on the ballot.”
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