Twelve Democratic women running for U.S. Senate seats have far outpaced fundraising by their opponents so far this year, mainly funded by left-leaning groups that seek to change the political winds in swing states.
The Democratic women running for Senate have raised $110 million combined, more than doubling the $42 million raised by the combination of their opponents, according to a Friday Politico report. EMILY’s list, the political PAC that promotes pro-choice Democratic women for public office, has put more than $4 million in the 2012 election so far to promote their candidates, more than $1 million to Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren alone.
This comes on the heels of an analysis by Rutgers University’s Center for American Women and Politics on Thursday, which found that, with ten more states still to hold primaries, women are running for a record-breaking number of seats this fall: 17 women are running for the U.S. Senate and 154 women are running for the U.S. House of Representatives. Democratic women are running at a rate far higher than their Republican peers, with 121 total female Democrats running compared with 50 women Republican candidates.
The fundraising power of female candidates should come as no surprise to the Women’s Campaign Fund, a nonpartisan political PAC that raises money for female candidates, who told Raw Story during an interview for a story on women running in state-level races this spring that they had seen women raise just as much money, if not more, than men when running for office.
“The problem hasn’t been getting women elected, frankly, the problem is getting women to run,” Center for American Women and Politics’s Debbie Walsh told Raw Story in April.
And in what could be seen as a tipping point, Politico noted that Rep. Tammy Baldwin, who’s openly lesbian, has so far garnered $7 million for the Wisconsin Senate campaign. Her opponent, Rep. Tommy Thompson, has only raised $2.5 million.
Still, while women are encountering success at the national level, the number of women that hold state-level legislative office has stagnated since the early 1990s, with women state senators at 22 percent and women state representatives at 25 percent. And, as Guttmacher Institute pointed out, it has been overwhelmingly at the state level that a record amount of anti-abortion legislation has been passed in the past few years.