In Defying the Odds, we discuss state and congressional elections as well as the presidential race. The update -- recently published --includes a chapter on the 2018 midterms.
For Republican women, 2018 was rock bottom. At least, that’s how Julie Conway, a Republican consultant, described it to students attending the Women’s Campaign School at Yale.
The tally: They sank from 23 representatives in the House to 13, a drop more than twice as sharp as House Republicans’ over all. They account for 31 percent of women in state legislatures, down from 38 percent last year. The Senate is a semi-bright spot, with a record eight Republican women — but Democrats have 17.
“Let’s just get it out there,” Ms. Conway said. “Now we can move on.”
And Republican women are moving on: As of last month, 187 had filed paperwork or expressed interest in running for the House in 2020, said Representative Susan Brooks of Indiana, the National Republican Congressional Committee’s recruitment chairwoman. In the entire 2018 election cycle, 120 ran.
The surge is largely because of how dismal 2018 was — or, more to the point, because of how dismal it wasn’t for women on the other side of the aisle. As their own losses poured in, Republicans watched Democratic women make historic gains and decided to adopt the Democrats’ strategy for themselves.