Record Number of Women Elected to Congress, Buoyed by Republican Wins

November 6, 2020 Updated: November 6, 2020

A record number of women will serve in Congress after the election, driven by successes in the Republican party, results show.

With 37 races still to be called across the House and Senate, voting counts so far show there will at least five more women in seats than during the previous Congress—more than ever before. That’s one-quarter of all seats.

Last year remains the high-water mark for freshmen congresswomen when 36 non-incumbents won their races, according to the Center for American Women and Politics. This year, that number stands at 21 so far.

But this year, when it comes to flipping seats in the House, women have played a pivotal role, emerging victorious in eight out of the ten races called so far against incumbents of another party.

In total, Republicans have so far beaten incumbent Democrats for seven House of Representatives seats. Six of those winners were women.

At least 10 more Republican women will serve in Congress than previously, with a total of 32 seats so far known. The number of Democrat Congresswomen appears to have fallen, with 100 so far securing seats, compared with 105 in the current Congress.

Businesswoman Nancy Mace, 42, unseated first-term Rep. Joe Cunningham (D-S.C.), 38, in South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District.

State Sen. Stephanie Bice, 46, emerged victorious against first-term Rep. Kendra Horn (D-Okla.), 44, in Oklahoma’s 5th Congressional District.

Stephanie Bice
U.S. House candidate Stephanie Bice talks to the media at the Edmond Conference Center in Edmond, Okla., on Nov. 3, 2020. (Garett Fisbeck/AP Photo)

Former television journalist Maria Elvira Salazar prevailed against Rep. Donna Shalala (D-Fla.), 79, in Florida’s 27th Congressional District.

Yvette Herrell, 56, a businesswoman, won in a race against Rep. Xochitl Torres Small (D-N.M.), 35, who represented New Mexico’s 2nd District.

Michelle Fischbach, the 55-year-old former Minnesota Senate president, triumphed over longtime Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), 76, in the state’s 7th Congressional District.

Another journalist, 37, Ashley Hinson won Iowa’s 1st District, beating Abby Finkenauer, who was first elected two years ago.

All received endorsements from President Donald Trump.

As of 7:00 a.m. on Friday, according to Decision Desk, Democrats had secured 208 House seats, compared to 195 for Republicans.

In the Senate, both parties have each secured 48 seats out of the 100 in the chamber. In the event of a 50-50 tie, which party wields the balance of power depends on who is elected as president, with a tie-breaker vote going to the vice president.

Zachery Stieber contributed to this report

Follow Simon on Twitter: @SPVeazey