Newswise — According to the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP), a unit of the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University, at least 126 (96D, 30R) women will serve in the 117th Congress. There are 32 congressional races featuring women candidates that remain too close to call. As outcomes are determined, the information in this release will be updated on this page on the CAWP website; these updates will include both the latest numbers and additional notable milestones that may be achieved by newly-determined results. Find the most current data on women in the 2020 elections, along with interactive data visualizations and historical comparisons, at our Election 2020 Results Tracker. CAWP will also send periodic media advisories with updated data and information.
- At least 101 (79D, 22R) women will serve in the U.S. House (current record: 102 set in 2019), including 43 (42D, 1R) women of color. Women will be at least 2% of all members of the U.S. House. Women are currently 23.2% of House members in 2020.
- 25 (17D, 8R) women will serve in the U.S. Senate (current record: 26 set in 2020), including 4 (4D) women of color. Women will at least be 25% of all members of the Senate. Women are currently 26% of all members of the Senate. If Biden wins the presidency and Kamala Harris leaves the Senate, 24 (16D, 8R) women will serve in the Senate, making up 24% of all members. Senator Kelly Loeffler has advanced to a runoff in the special election for the seat she was previously appointed to that will take place after the new Congress is sworn in.
- At least 43 (42D, 1R) women of color will serve in the U.S. House (current record: 44 set in 2019).
The freshman class of women in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2021 will include at least 20 (8D, 12R) non-incumbent women. The record high for new women House members is 36 (35D, 1R), set in 2019. Republican women have already set a new record for non-incumbent U.S. House winners, with 12 women elected in 2020 race so far, surpassing the previous record of 9, set in 2010. As of now, there are 11 undecided House races featuring a non-incumbent Republican woman candidate and 17 undecided House races featuring a non-incumbent Democratic woman candidate.
“Following the record-setting 2018 midterm elections, we’ve been cautiously optimistic that we were seeing the emergence of a new normal, rather than a one-time surge. With record levels of candidates and nominees in 2020, that optimism seems justified. Early indications are that we are also likely to surpass records for officeholders.” said CAWP Director Debbie Walsh. “But successes like these don’t just happen. They require the dedicated attention of parties, donors, activists, and voters, as is particularly evident from the expanded number of Republican women candidates this year. It takes hard work. And the work continues.”
At least 87 (48D, 37R, 2NP) women will serve in statewide elected executive office, including governor, in 2021. This includes 15 (13D, 2R) women of color. Women will be at least 28.1% of all statewide elected executive officials. Women currently hold 28.9% of these positions in 2020. As of now, there are 12 undecided races for statewide elected executive office that feature woman candidates.
No new women governors were elected in 2020, and none of the 9 (6D, 3R) incumbent women governors were up for re-election this year. As a result, 9 (6D, 3R) women will serve as governors in 2021, including 1 (1D) woman of color.
In 2020, 7 (2D, 5R) women have won races for the U.S. Senate. With the presidential race still undecided, and the status of Kamala Harris’s seat thus unclear, there will either be 17 or 18 incumbent senators that did not face re-election in 2020 in the 117th Congress. When combined with those 17 or 18 incumbent women senators, 24 or 25 women, including 16 or 17 Democrats and 8 Republicans, will serve in the Senate in the 117th Congress. The current record for women serving in the U.S. Senate is 26, set in 2019. Senator Kelly Loeffler has advanced to a runoff in the special election for the seat she was previously appointed to that will take place after the new Congress is sworn in.
- 6 (2D, 4R) incumbent women Senators won re-election this year. One (1R) incumbent woman Senator has been defeated: Martha McSally (R-AZ).
- 1 (1R) non-incumbent woman was elected to the U.S. Senate, Cynthia Lummis, R-WY. No women unseated Senate incumbents this year.
No women of color have won election to the U.S. Senate in the 2020 elections. All four of the women of color serving in the Senate were not up for re-election this year: Tammy Duckworth, Kamala Harris, Mazie Hirono, and Catherine Cortez Masto. The presidential results will determine whether there will be three or four returning women of color senators in 2021.
One state will send their first woman to the U.S. Senate in 2021: Wyoming (Lummis), bringing the number of states that have never had a woman senator down to 17.
Already, 101 women won races for the U.S. House and will serve in the 117th Congress. The current record number of women serving in the House was 102, set in 2019. In this election cycle, 5 (3D, 2R) incumbent women House members did not seek re-election. So far, 79 Democratic women have won House races in the 2020 election (current record is 89). With 22 House wins so far, Republican women are poised to recover the ground they lost in 2018 and could break their record of 25 House members, set in 2006, if four more Republican women win their races. At present, 38 (26D, 12R) women House nominees – including 10 (9D, 1R) incumbents and 28 (17D, 11R) non-incumbents – remain in races that are not yet called.
- At least 81 (71D, 10R) women House incumbents won re-election this year; 5 (5D) women House incumbents were defeated: Abby Finkenauer, Kendra Horn, Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, Donna Shalala, and Xochitl Torres Small. All five are freshman legislators who flipped party control of their districts from Republican to Democrat in the 2018 midterms.
- Of the 20 (18D, 12R) non-incumbent women House winners thus far, 14 (8D, 6R) won open seats and 6 (6R) defeated incumbents. In 2021, at least 12 Republican women will join the incoming class of new House members in the 117th Congress, surpassing the previous record of 9, set in 2010, and greatly improving over 2018, in which a lone Republican non-incumbent joined the House.
Non-Incumbent Women, U.S. House
Stephanie Bice (R-OK)
Lauren Boebert (R-CO)
Cori Bush (D-MO)
Kat Cammack (R-FL)
Michelle Fischbach (R-MN)
Marjorie Greene (R-GA)
Diana Harshbarger (R-TN)
Yvette Herrell (R-NM)
Ashley Hinson (R-IA)
Sara Jacobs (D-CA)
Teresa Leger (D-NM)
Nancy Mace (R-SC)
Kathy Manning (D-NC)
Lisa McClain (R-MI)
Mary Miller (R-IL)
Marie Newman (D-IL)
Deborah K. Ross (D-NC)
Maria Salazar (R-FL)
Marilyn Strickland (D-WA)
Nikema Williams (D-GA)
*Challengers (nominees who defeated incumbents) are italicized. All other women listed won open seat contests.
Of the 43 (42D, 1R) women of color selected for House seats so far, 24 (24D) are Black women, which surpasses the previous record of Black women in the House (22, set in 2019), 11 (10D, 1R) are Latinas, 6 (6D) are Asian or Pacific Islander women, 2 (2D) are Native American women, and 1 (1D) is a Middle Eastern or North African woman. This includes one woman who identifies as both Black and Asian; she is counted once in the preceding overall number of women of color who have won House seats, and she is counted in both of the preceding totals for Black and Asian or Pacific Islander women. The current record for women of color in the U.S. House is 44. At least 5 (4D, 1R) new women of color will enter the 117th Congress. The current record for non-incumbent women of color House members is 14 (first set in 2018). The new women of color House members already elected include 3 (3D) Black women (Bush, Williams, Strickland), 2 (1D, 1R) Latinas (Leger Fernandez, Salazar), and 1 (1D) Asian or Pacific Islander woman (Strickland, repeated). At present, 11 (7D, 4R) women of color House nominees – including 2 (1D, 1R) incumbents and 9 (6D, 3R) non-incumbents – remain in races that are not yet called.
- Missouri will send its first woman of color and first Black woman to the U.S. Congress (Bush).
- Washington state will send its first Black woman to the U.S. Congress (Strickland).
- At least two states will send their first Republican women to the House: Iowa (Hinson) and South Carolina (Mace).
So far, no states have elected their first women to the U.S. House in 2020. Four states still have never sent a woman to the U.S. House: Alaska, Mississippi, North Dakota, and Vermont. Among these states, there is one uncalled race, in Alaska, featuring a woman candidate.
In addition, 3 non-voting delegates from American Samoa, Washington D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands were re-elected this year. All of the women delegates serving in the 117th Congress will be women of color.
Statewide Elected Executive Office
At least 87 (48D, 37R, 2NP) women will serve in statewide elected executive office, including governor, in 2021. This includes 15 (13D, 2R) women of color. Women will be at least 28.1% of all statewide elected executive officials; women currently hold 28.9% of these positions in 2020. At present, 16 (9D, 6R, 1NP) women statewide executive nominees – including 5 (2D, 3R) incumbents and 11 (7D, 3R, 1NP) non-incumbents – remain in races that are not yet called.
No women were elected to gubernatorial offices in 2020. In 2021, nine states will be led by women governors, as 9 (6D, 3R) current incumbent women governors were not up for re-election this year. Twenty states remain that have never had a woman governor.
Other Statewide Elected Executive Offices
Currently, 14 (7D, 6R, 1NP) women have already won statewide elected executive offices other than governor this year. They will join the 64 (35D, 28D, 1NP) women currently serving as statewide elected executive officials other than governor who are not up for re-election this year.
The Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP), a unit of the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is nationally recognized as the leading source of scholarly research and current data about women’s political participation in the United States. Its mission is to promote greater knowledge and understanding about the role of women in American politics, enhance women's influence in public life, and expand the diversity of women in politics and government. CAWP’s education and outreach programs translate research findings into action, addressing women’s under-representation in political leadership with effective, intersectional, and imaginative programs serving a variety of audiences. As the world has watched Americans considering female candidates for the nation's highest offices, CAWP’s five decades of analyzing and interpreting women’s participation in American politics have provided a foundation and context for the discussion.