Women Win War on Women!
By Amy Pearl
It seems that the multi-prong approach of voter suppression, attack on women’s rights and disregard for science boomeranged in 2012.
Despite losing 2 Republican women to retirement, the 113th Congress will have a record 20 female Senators, the most in US history. All six Democratic women up for reelection won their races:
- Maria Cantwell (WA) (incumbent)
- Dianne Feinstein (CA) (incumbent)
- Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) (incumbent)
- Amy Klobuchar (MN) (incumbent)
- Claire McCaskill (MO) (incumbent)
- Debbie Stabenow (MI) (incumbent)
- Democrats Tammy Baldwin (WI)
- Heidi Heitkamp (ND)
- Mazie Hirono (HI)
- Elizabeth Warren (MA)
The four newly elected female Democratic Senators are the first female Senators from their state. Baldwin will be the first openly gay Senator and Hirono the first female Asian-American Senator in US history.
Republican Deb Fischer (NE) was the lone female Republican to win election to the Senate in 2012, joining 3 Republican women not running for re-election.
There will be a record 81 women in the House of Representatives, 9 more than the previous record. In addition to the two Democratic women incumbents re-elected (Lois Capps, CA-24 and Louise Slaughter, NY-25), the 16 new Democratic women in Congress are:
- Joyce Beatty (OH-03)
- Julia Brownley (CA-26)
- Cheri Bustos (IL-17)
- Suzan DelBene (WA-01)
- Tammy Duckworth (IL-08)
- Elizabeth Esty (CT-05)
- Lois Frankel (FL-22)
- Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02)
- Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-01)
- Ann McLane Kuster (NH-02)
- 11. Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-01)
- Grace Meng (NY-06)
- Gloria Negrete McLeod (CA-35)
- Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01)
- Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09)
- 16. Dina Titus (NV-01) (previously held a different district seat)
Some of the new Congresswomen include Tulsi Gabbard and Tammy Duckworth, women who have military combat experience, and two women under the age of 40 (Gabbard and Grace Meng). Gabbard will also be the first Hindu in Congress. Krysten Sinema is the first openly bisexual in Congress.
New Hampshire elected the first all-female federal delegation: both Senators, both Representatives, and the only female Democratic governor in the country. The New Hampshire Speaker of the House is also a Democratic woman.
White men, for the first time ever, will no longer be the majority of the Democratic caucus in the new House. Prior to the election, white men made up 53 percent of House Democrats and 86 percent of House Republicans, but some of those Democratic men have been replaced by women and minorities, according to the National Journal.
The decisive issues for women voters were economic fairness, health care, equal pay and protecting Medicare. 76% of women polled reported voting for the Democratic candidate, versus 16% voting against the Republican.
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