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Which States Have the Most Proportional Female Representation in Congress?

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Women are still proportionally underrepresented in 48 states, with 19 states and 22 percent of the nation's population without a female U.S. Senator or Representative

Smart Politics recently observed that while the number of Republican women in the U.S. House has been on the decline in recent years (now at 17 members - the lowest level since 2000), that caucus' conservative ideological voting record is at an all time high.

However, although the total number of women in the U.S. House and Senate, whether Republicans or Democrats, is also at an all time high, the percentage of women serving in Congress is still far below their percentage in the population at large.

A Smart Politics analysis finds women are proportionally underrepresented in 48 states across the country, including 19 states that currently have no women serving in the U.S. Senate or U.S. House, tallying more than 22 percent of the nation's population.

These 19 states reflect a mixture of red, blue, and purple states, as well as states from across the Northeastern, Southern, Midwestern, and Western regions of the country: Alabama, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont, and Virginia.

Women are proportionally 'overrepresented' in just one state - Maine. The Pine Tree State is represented by two Republican women in the U.S. Senate (Olympia Snowe (pictured) and Susan Collins) as well as Democrat Chellie Pingree in one of the state's two congressional districts, or 75 percent of its Capitol Hill delegation.

Women are represented equal to their population in one other state - New Hampshire - with Democratic women holding 50 percent of its posts in Congress: one of the two U.S. Senate seats (Jeanne Shaheen) and one of the two U.S. House seats (Carol Sea-Porter in the state's 1st CD).

More than half of the country, 27 states, has never been represented by a woman in the U.S. Senate: Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Six states have never had a female serve in the U.S. House: Alaska, Delaware, Iowa, Mississippi, North Dakota, and Vermont.

Four states have never had a woman serve in either chamber: Delaware, Iowa, Mississippi, and Vermont.

After Maine and New Hampshire, Nevada has the third largest percentage of its D.C. delegation represented by women, at 40 percent (2 representatives), with California the fourth largest (38.2 percent; 2 senators, 19 representatives).

Alaska, South Dakota, and Wyoming are tied for fifth at 33.3 percent - with each of these sparsely populated states served by one female in its three member D.C. delegation.

Minnesota (30.0 percent), Washington (27.3 percent), Hawaii (25.0 percent), and Ohio (25.0 percent) round out the Top 10.

Female Congressional Delegations by State

Rank
State
Senate
House
Total
%
1
Maine
2
1
3
75.0
2
New Hampshire
1
1
2
50.0
3
Nevada
0
2
2
40.0
4
California
2
19
21
38.2
5
Alaska
1
0
1
33.3
5
South Dakota
0
1
1
33.3
5
Wyoming
0
1
1
33.3
8
Minnesota
1
2
3
30.0
9
Washington
2
1
3
27.3
10
Hawaii
0
1
1
25.0
10
Ohio
0
5
5
25.0
12
New York
1
6
7
22.6
13
Colorado
0
2
2
22.2
13
Florida
0
6
6
22.2
15
Arizona
0
2
2
20.0
15
Maryland
1
1
2
20.0
15
North Carolina
1
2
3
20.0
15
West Virginia
0
1
1
20.0
15
Wisconsin
0
2
2
20.0
20
Illinois
0
4
4
19.0
21
Missouri
1
1
2
18.2
22
Michigan
1
2
3
17.6
23
Arkansas
1
0
1
16.7
23
Kansas
0
1
1
16.7
25
Connecticut
0
1
1
14.3
25
Oklahoma
0
1
1
14.3
27
Texas
1
3
4
11.8
28
Louisiana
1
0
1
11.1
29
Pennsylvania
0
2
2
9.5
30
Tennessee
0
1
1
9.1
31
Massachusetts
0
1
1
8.3
32
Alabama
0
0
0
0.0
32
Delaware
0
0
0
0.0
32
Georgia
0
0
0
0.0
32
Idaho
0
0
0
0.0
32
Indiana
0
0
0
0.0
32
Iowa
0
0
0
0.0
32
Kentucky
0
0
0
0.0
32
Mississippi
0
0
0
0.0
32
Montana
0
0
0
0.0
32
Nebraska
0
0
0
0.0
32
New Jersey
0
0
0
0.0
32
New Mexico
0
0
0
0.0
32
North Dakota
0
0
0
0.0
32
Oregon
0
0
0
0.0
32
Rhode Island
0
0
0
0.0
32
South Carolina
0
0
0
0.0
32
Utah
0
0
0
0.0
32
Vermont
0
0
0
0.0
32
Virginia
0
0
0
0.0
Data compiled by Smart Politics.

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1 Comment


  • Am I correct in assuming that if Carol Shea Porter and Anne Kuster both win their congressional races that New Hampshire will become the first state to ever have a 100% female congressional delegation?

  • Leave a comment


    Remains of the Data

    No Free Passes: States With 2 Major Party Candidates in Every US House Race

    Indiana has now placed candidates from both major parties on the ballot in a nation-best 189 consecutive U.S. House races, with New Hampshire, Minnesota, Idaho, and Montana also north of 100 in a row.

    Political Crumbs

    Gubernatorial Highs and Lows

    Two sitting governors currently hold the record for the highest gubernatorial vote ever received in their respective states by a non-incumbent: Republican Matt Mead of Wyoming (65.7 percent in 2010) and outgoing GOPer Dave Heineman of Nebraska (73.4 percent in 2006). Republican Gary Herbert of Utah had not previously won a gubernatorial contest when he notched a state record 64.1 percent for his first victory in 2010, but was an incumbent at the time after ascending to the position in 2009 after the early departure of Jon Huntsman. Meanwhile, two sitting governors hold the record in their states for the lowest mark ever recorded by a winning gubernatorial candidate (incumbent or otherwise): independent-turned-Democrat Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island (36.1 percent in 2010) and Democrat Terry McAuliffe of Virginia (47.8 percent in 2013).


    An Idaho Six Pack

    Two-term Idaho Republican Governor Butch Otter only polled at 39 percent in a recent PPP survey of the state's 2014 race - just four points ahead of Democratic businessman A.J. Balukoff. Otter's low numbers reflect his own struggles as a candidate (witness his weak primary win against State Senator Russ Fulcher) combined with the opportunity for disgruntled Idahoans to cast their votes for one of four third party and independent candidates, who collectively received the support of 12 percent of likely voters: Libertarian John Bujak, the Constitution Party's Steve Pankey, and independents Jill Humble and Pro-Life (aka Marvin Richardson). The six candidate options in a gubernatorial race sets an all-time record in the Gem State across the 46 elections conducted since statehood. The previous high water mark of five candidates was reached in seven previous cycles: 1902, 1904, 1908, 1912, 1914, 1966, and 2010.


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