I’ve been digging into the “happenstance” of election results that Steny Hoyer referred to in his Roll Call interview earlier. It’s not getting better. Let’s look:
Since the twin elections of Barbara Mikulski to the Senate and Connie Morella to the House in 1986, Maryland has elected ONE woman to Congress in 30 years. How does that compare with other states?
Over that time, in elections from 1988-2014, 168 women have been newly elected to the House, 115 Democrats and 53 Republicans. Top ten states:
New York 14
North Carolina 5
Well, you say, most of those states are so much bigger than Maryland, so they should have more. Well, yes, but Washington has the same number of House seats as we do, and it has sent 7 women to Washington. So does Arizona with 5. And we have ONE. Not so good.
Here’s a list of some of the states that have done much better than we have.
Wyoming has one at large seat. Two women have filled it since 1986.
The Virgin Islands. One seat. Two women.
South Dakota. One seat. Two women.
Hawaii. Two seats. Three women.
New Hampshire. Two seats. Two women.
Other deeply blue states that have outperformed us. Kansas (2), Alabama (2), Texas (4), Virginia (4), Pennsylvania (4), Tennessee (2), Georgia (2), Utah (3)., Colorado (3).
I mean, seriously, Utah has had three congresswomen to our one? Come on, folks, that’s embarrassing. This is UTAH we’re talking about.
States that have done as well as we have with fewer seats and, uh, shall we say, less enlightened attitudes towards women:
Idaho, with two measly House seats and a state full of gun toting white supremacists
Oklahoma with five seats and a delusional belief that the federal government had nothing to do with creating the state (don’t get me started on Oklahoma, I married a Texan)
Arkansas, another state despised by Texans and only five House seats, matches us, too
As does West Virginia, which means we really should stop with the inbreeding jokes (no, not really)
Still no “electoral happenstance” here, folks. Sorry, Congressman Hoyer. This is only getting more embarrassing. However good we might have been when I was still in high school and college (and didn’t even live here), the rest of the country has since blown by us and left us in the dust. Over the next few days, I’ll be looking at a similar downturn in the numbers of women in our state legislature as well. Traveling tomorrow and Thursday, so can’t promise when I’ll get it done, but it will be equally illuminating.