A Record Number Of Women Are Serving In The 117th Congress
Women make up just over a quarter of all members of the 117th Congress the highest percentage in U.S. history and a considerable increase from where things stood even a decade ago.
Counting both the House of Representatives and the Senate, 144 of 539 seats or 27% are held by women. That represents a 50% increase from the 96 women who were serving in the 112th Congress a decade ago, though it remains far below the female share of the overall U.S. population. A record 120 women are serving in the newly elected House, accounting for 27% of the total. In the Senate, women hold 24 of 100 seats, one fewer than the record number of seats they held in the last Congress.
This analysis counts voting as well as nonvoting members of Congress. Figures for the 117th Congress exclude two House seats that were vacant as of early January. It also excludes Sens. Kamala Harris, who is expected to resign her seat ahead of her inauguration as vice president on Jan. 20, and Kelly Loeffler, who lost a runoff election in Georgia earlier this month. Both are set to be replaced by men.
This analysis builds on earlier Pew Research Center work to analyze the gender makeup of Congress.
Independent members of Congress are counted with the party they caucus with.
The 2020 general election sent just one new congresswoman to the Senate, Republican Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming, making her the first female senator to represent that state.
The history of women in Congress
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Legislative Roles And Procedures
Every state legislature throughout the country features its own internal procedures that it uses to govern itself and how it interacts with other parts of state government. Ballotpedia’s coverage of internal state legislative procedures includes veto overrides, the role of the legislature in the state budget, and procedures for filling membership vacancies.
Most Republican States 2021
Across the nation, U.S. citizens have different political beliefs. Some citizens lean more to the right or Republican with conservative values. In contrast, others lean more to the left and support the more liberal Democratic party.
While some states are pretty closely divided, there are others where most residents support one party. One way this is measured is through the Cook Partisan Voting Index, also known as the CPVI. This measures how strongly a state leans Republican or Democratic compared to the entire nation. Following each election, this index is updated to provide the most accurate results.
CPVIs is calculated by taking a look at the average Democratic or Republican share of the last two presidential elections compared to the national average. Results of the CPVI are broken down by congressional district and by state. By using this data, you can quickly determine which states are more Republican or more Democratic.
Utah is the second-most Republican state with a voting index of +20. Utah is known for being home to its highest Mormon population, resulting in many of its residents being very socially conservative. In the 2016 presidential election, 45.5% of voters voted for Trump, while 27.5% voted for Clinton.
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Govtrackus Is Taking A New Focus On Civic Education
Help us develop the tools to bring real-time legislative data into the classroom.
If youve visited a bill page on GovTrack.us recently, you may have noticed a new study guide tab located just below the bill title. This is part of a new project to develop better tools for bringing real-time legislative data into the classroom. We hope to enable educators to build lesson plans centered around any bill or vote in Congress, even those as recent as yesterday.
Were looking for feedback from educators about how GovTrack can be used and improved for your classroom. If you teach United States government and would like to speak with us about bringing legislative data into your classroom, please reach out!
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Why Democratic Departures From The House Have Republicans Salivating
A growing number of Democrats in battleground districts are either retiring or leaving to seek higher office, imperiling the partys control of the House and President Bidens expansive agenda.
WASHINGTON With 18 months left before the midterms, a spate of Democratic departures from the House is threatening to erode the partys slim majority in the House and imperil President Bidens far-reaching policy agenda.
In the past two months, five House Democrats from competitive districts have announced they wont seek re-election next year. They include Representative Charlie Crist of Florida, who on Tuesday launched a campaign for governor, and Representative Tim Ryan of Ohio, who will run for the Senate seat being vacated by Rob Portman. Three other Democrats will leave vacant seats in districts likely to see significant change once they are redrawn using the data from the 2020 Census, and several more are weighing bids for higher office.
An early trickle of retirements from House members in competitive districts is often the first sign of a coming political wave. In the 2018 cycle, 48 House Republicans didnt seek re-election and 14 of those vacancies were won by Democrats. Now Republicans are salivating over the prospect of reversing that dynamic and erasing the Democrats six-seat advantage.
Its like going to war on a battlefield but you dont know where youre fighting, when youre fighting or who youre fighting, Mr. Israel said.
Florida Vs California: How Two States Tackled Covid
The researchers theorized that one reason for the change is that Democrats were in charge of states where people who had the virus first arrived in the country but Republicans were less stringent about safeguards, which could have contributed to their states ultimately higher incidence and death rates.
The early trends could be explained by high Covid-19 cases and deaths among Democratic-led states that are home to initial ports of entry for the virus in early 2020, the researchers wrote. However, the subsequent reversal in trends, particularly with respect to testing, may reflect policy differences that could have facilitated the spread of the virus.
The study, which which was published in the peer-reviewed American Journal of Preventive Medicine, examined Covid-19 incidence, death, testing, and test positivity rates from March 15 through December 15, 2020, when there were 16 million confirmed cases in the U.S. and 300,000 deaths. It focused on per-capita infection and death rates in the 26 GOP-led states and 24 Democratic-led states and Washington, D.C., and made statistical adjustments for issues such as population density.
But policy differences between the Republican and Democratic leaders emerged as a big factor for the reversal of the states fortunes, the study suggests.
One of the most concerning things last year is the politicization of public health restrictions, Lee said. Theyre not opinions, theyre based on evidence.
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In Her New Book Congress And Us Veterans: From The Gi Bill To The Va Crisis Stevens Assistant Professor Lindsey Cormack Evaluates How The Parties Legislate And Communicate Veterans’ Policies
More than 18 million veterans live in the United States today, according to the latest census, and with worldwide presence and ongoing wars, the military enlists 1.2 million active and 800,000 reserve military personnel across the branches. As a nation, we look up to those who serve. Its a uniting opinion, and 95% of Americans believe its the duty of government to support veterans when they return to the homefront.
The role of devising policies that benefit former soldiers now falls to Congress, and so the creation and communication of veterans policies, like most things in Washington, is subject to the realities of party politics. Republicans are viewed as the party of veterans, public opinion and voting data says so. But in her new book, Congress and U.S. Veterans: From the GI Bill to the VA Crisis, Stevens Assistant Professor Lindsey Cormack questions how that came to be, as her research shows that congressional Democrats, more often than not, are the ones working to enhance veteran benefits.
On a continuum of legislative behavior, we have one end populated by the dedicated workhorses;who draft legislation, hammer out compromises, and get into the weeds of complicated policy questions, Cormack writes in her book. On the other end, there are show ponies that care more about pumping out media sound bites or trying to get the next viral video on YouTube.
Control Of The Senate Could Be Decided By Georgia Races
;There are two races up in Georgia this election, a regular Senate race and special election. The rules in Georgia for both the regular Senate election and the Senate special election require a candidate to win a majority, and if none of the candidates clear the 50% threshold, the race goes to a runoff in January.;
Recent polling in the race between incumbent GOP Senator David Perdue and Democrat Jon Ossoff has been tight, and the presence of a libertarian candidate on the ballot could prevent either Perdue or Ossoff from clearing the majority. In the special election, 21 candidates have qualified to be on the ballot, including Democrat Raphael Warnock, who has led in recent polls. GOP candidates Senator Kelly Loeffer, who was appointed to the seat last year, and Congressman Doug Collins are also on the ballot. If no candidate clears the majority, that race will also go to a runoff in January.
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‘the Beast Is Growing’: Republicans Follow A Winning At All Costs Strategy Into The Midterms
Much remains uncertain about the midterm elections more than a year away including the congressional districts themselves, thanks to the delayed redistricting process. The Senate, meanwhile, looks like more of a toss-up.
House Democrats think voters will reward them for advancing President Joe Biden’s generally popular agenda, which involves showering infrastructure money on virtually every district in the country and sending checks directly to millions of parents. And they think voters will punish Republicans for their rhetoric about the Covid-19 pandemic and the 2020 election.
“Democrats are delivering results, bringing back the economy, getting people back to work, passing the largest middle-class tax cut in history, while Republicans are engaged in frankly violent conspiracy theory rhetoric around lies in service of Donald Trump,” said Tim Persico, executive director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
But the challenges Democrats face are real and numerous.
They knew they would face a tough 2022 immediately after 2020, when massive, unexpected GOP gains whittled the Democratic majority to just a handful of seats.
“House Republicans are in a great position to retake the majority,” said Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn., who chairs the National Republican Congressional Committee, “but we are taking nothing for granted.”
His rural district had been trending Republican for years. Kind won re-election last year by just about 10,000 votes.
Congress And The Public
Line graph. Congressional job approval, percentage of Americans approving, trend from 1974-2021. High approval rating is 84% in October 2001; low is 9% in November 2013. Current reading, from August 2021, is 28%.
|^ Gallup/Newsweek poll|
|= Volunteered response; * Less than 0.5%|
|1992 Jul 31 Aug 2||40|
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Why Do Republicans Want To Change Election Laws
Many of the states that Biden won in 2020 were states that Trump had won in 2016, including Arizona, Georgia and Pennsylvania. These three states, where Republicans still hold the majority in the state legislatures, look likely to pass new voting laws after their recent election results were contested by Republicans both from within and without.
The reasons for these changes vary depending on whom you ask. As Politico reported last month, some Republicans are using the unsupported claims of election fraud to argue that election security needs to be tighter to prevent future fraud. Republicans have often argued that voter fraud is common and needs to be fought with stricter voting rules.
Alternatively, one Georgia Republican, Alice OLenick, recently stated the laws had to be changed so that we at least have a shot at winning. In her comments, OLenick, who serves on her countys board of elections, echoed a sentiment Trump expressed in March 2020 when he told Fox News that increased voting levels would ensure, youd never have a Republican elected in this country again.
Composition Of The Us House Of Representatives By Political Party Affiliation For The 116th Congress In 2019 By State
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Opinionthe Fantasy Of A New Republican Party
Republicans now control the redistricting process in 20 states, or 187 congressional districts, compared to only 11 states or 84 congressional districts for Democrats. Whats worse, Republicans only need to nudge the congressional boundaries in a handful of those states to wipe out Democrats hopes of retaining the House of Representatives in 2022.
In a worst-case scenario that sees the GOP split up congressional districts in major cities, Democrats could stand to lose over a dozen House seats previously considered safe. And even under a more conservative approach advocated by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and others, the GOP is still considering gutting almost half a dozen now-safe Democratic districts in states such as Indiana, Kansas, Missouri and Tennessee.
The First Week Of Early Voting Shows Democrats Flooding Dallas
5:00 AM on Oct 19, 2020 CDT
The first week of early voting confirms what many political analysts already knew. Texas is a state that leans Republican, but the political climate gives Democrats a serious chance at flipping the Texas House and winning a statewide race.
Inside the Lone Star States legislative districts, Democrats are poised to roll up impressive victories in the suburbs, especially outside of Dallas. In those areas they are boosted by the unpopularity of President Donald Trump, a surge of base Democratic voters, and new Texas voters with a history of voting for Democrats in other states.
While what Im writing will ruffle Trump loyalists and others ignoring the trends, its not shocking to Democratic Party or GOP operatives on the ground. Just like 2018, when they made gains in the Texas Legislature and Congress, the political climate is conducive for a change election.
The biggest question: How prepared are Democrats to take advantage of a unique political opportunity?
Its perfect weather for them, Republican consultant Bill Miller said of Democrats, adding that it would be a crushing letdown if they didnt win a statewide election or seize the Texas House. This should be their best round of golf.
Abhi Rahman, a spokesperson for the Texas Democratic Party, said they are encouraged by the first week of early voting.
Texas Democrats could not be more thrilled with where we are at, he said. Texas Democrats are poised to win up and down the ballot.
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Already A Strong Democratic Group Those Unaffiliated With A Religious Tradition Became More So
In 2018, voters were highly politically polarized by religious affiliation and attendance at worship services, as they have been for many years in the U.S. Solid majorities of Protestants supported Republican candidates in 2018, while Catholics were more divided and the less religious were strongly Democratic in their votes.
The Republican Partys most supportive demographic group were White evangelical Protestants . This margin was very similar to 2016 . A sizable majority of White Catholics also supported Republicans , with White non-evangelical Protestants close behind .
Unaffiliated voters and especially atheists and agnostics were even more supportive of Democratic candidates in 2018 than they had been of Hillary Clinton, with at least some of the change coming from those who had supported Gary Johnson or Jill Stein in 2016. The margins among voters who describe their religious affiliation as nothing in particular were fairly similar in 2016 and 2018. Atheists supported Democratic candidates by an overwhelming 88% to 9% margin, rivaling Black support for the Democrats. Agnostics were not far behind, supporting Democratic candidates by a 79% to 18% margin.