Six years later, that energy remains largely intact — and it’s spreading to the Republican Party, too. Since the 2017 Women’s March, held on Trump’s first full day as president, the anti-Trump “resistance” has spoken in a distinctly female voice.

Scholars and journalists studying grassroots liberal politics during the Trump years have noted the rise of women’s civic networks dedicated to destroying the president and his Republican allies.

One way they did this was by deciding to apply themselves. The representation of Democratic women in the US House of Representatives increased from 29 percent in the 2016 elections, a record at the time, to 2 percent in 2018 and again to 8 percent in 2020.

And as more women ran for office. , won more women. During Trump’s four terms, the number of Democratic women in the House increased from 62 to 89, the Senate from 1
to 16, and the state governor from 3 to 6, according to data compiled by the American Center for Women and the organization.

Politics at Rutgers University. Trump’s defeat in 2020 has raised the question of whether this activism by women will continue even after he is no longer president. Did the “resistance” lead to greater representation of women in the Democratic Party? Or will the passion die without the constant fuel that Trump’s presence in the White House provides?

The recent decision for the 2022 candidacy period provides an opportunity for a preliminary analysis. By my numbers, women make up 3 percent of all Democratic candidates for the US House of Representatives this year — a modest decrease from 2020, but about the same as in 2018 and well above the last election.

Women will make up 0 percent of Democratic candidates for Senate or governor in 2022, a new record (the previous record was 38 percent in 2018).

But the relatively difficult political environment means that the raw number of female Democrats in office will see little or no growth after the fall election, even if the party’s gender balance continues. Democratic senators Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada and Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire are both seeking second terms in consistently contested states, while election projections put at least 10 Democratic women in the House at serious risk of losing their seats.

In the gubernatorial races, the almost certain Democratic selection of a female candidate in Massachusetts and a decent chance of victory in Arizona could offset possible losses in Kansas and Oregon. In fact, it’s entirely possible that most of the newly elected women next year will be serving on the other side of the party aisle.

Republican leaders and lobbyists have responded to the recent wave of female Democratic candidates by aggressively recruiting more female candidates of their own. The share of female Republican House candidates increased from 13 percent in 2018 to 22 percent in 2020 and 19 percent this year. Women will also make up 21 percent of Republican candidates for Senate or governor in 2022, an all-time high for the party.

Get unlimited digital access Subscribe now for just $2 for two months. MAKE A BID Republican women are almost certain to win a Senate seat in Alabama, and they also hold strong positions in several House districts.

They are also poised to conquer at least one new gubernatorial state (Arkansas), and several other states such as Oregon and Arizona are within reach. When Trump was first elected, few analysts predicted that the legacy of his presidency would be a significant increase in women’s representation in both major parties. But changes in America’s two-party system often follow this back and forth. Trump’s rise to the top of the GOP sparked a women-led opposition movement among Democrats, which in turn inspired a backlash from Republican leaders who concluded that diversifying their own candidate would keep them at a competitive disadvantage.

Both sides are evolving as they respond to the other side’s developments as well as their own — just as Trump’s nomination itself represented the passionate Republican reaction against Barack Obama’s presidency.

It is, of course, still too early to say whether the increase in female candidates will continue. But there’s one good reason to expect it could last for at least one more election: the Supreme Court’s June decision overturning Roe v. Wade was announced too late to affect the current field of candidates, as deadlines have already passed in nearly every state. But if Democratic anger over Dobbs’ decision spurs a surge in female candidates two years from now, Republicans might figure the best strategic response would be to invest more in recruiting their own female candidates. Couple that with Trump’s possible return to the electoral arena, and it’s a recipe for a new year for the woman in 202

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