After mid-terms, House Republicans become the party of white men

After mid-terms, House Republicans become the party of white men 

Posted: 7:00 am Saturday, November 24th, 2018

By Jamie Dupree

The results of the 2018 elections will bring in over 90 new members to the U.S. House, but for Democrats and Republicans, the change could not be any more different, as Democrats will see an influx of women and minorities, while the House Republican Conference will consist overwhelmingly of white men.

Before the 2018 elections, there were 23 women in the ranks of House Republicans – but after retirements, races for other offices, and election defeats – that number will drop to just 13 in the 116th Congress, as only one new Republican woman was elected to the House in 2018.

That GOP decline comes as a record number of women will serve in the new Congress – as the increase has come because the ranks of House Democrats will swell with newly elected women from all over the country.

And this graphic makes that change all the more obvious:

At this point, Republicans should have around 200 members in the new Congress – and 180 of them will be white men.

That’s 90 percent.

Democrats should have around 235 members in the new House – 90 of them will be white men.

That’s about 38 percent.

Republicans will have 13 women in the new House of Representatives.

Democrats will have almost 90 women lawmakers.

And close to half of those Democratic women will be non-white.

The Washington Post put it this way:


“If you run into a white man on the House floor next year, there’s a 2-to-1 chance he’ll be a Republican.”

As for Democrats, they will vote later this week on their leadership for the 116th Congress – and despite some opposition from a small group of newly elected and incumbent Democrats – more and more it looks like Nancy Pelosi will be able to find the 218 votes in January to return to the post of Speaker, the first time that’s happened since Sam Rayburn in the mid-1950’s.

Over the Thanksgiving break, Pelosi leaned on wayward Democrats, and cut deals with some like Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH), who had talked about running against her for Speaker, as Pelosi supporters churned out repeated public statements on her behalf.

“With Nancy Pelosi at the table, House Democrats give themselves the best chance to deliver on the promises we have made to all Americans to get the job done,” said Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX).

“To understand what Speaker Pelosi will do, we have only to look at what a Speaker Pelosi has done: take Democratic priorities like health care from dream to reality,” said Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA).

One of Pelosi’s daughters even went on Twitter to remind critics that the House Democratic Leader is no stranger to legislative knife fights.

In terms of the makeup of the House in the 116th Congress, there are three races which are not final as yet:

+ New York 22 – More absentees and provisionals still have to be counted in this northern New York district, but Democrat Anthony Brindisi’s lead is too large for Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-NY) to overcome. This will be a Democratic pickup, giving the Democrats a 39 seat gain in the House. Tenney has not yet conceded.

+ New York 27 – The counting is over, and indicted Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) is the winner over Democrat Nate McMurray, who has not yet conceded defeat. This is a GOP hold, as both Republican lawmakers who were indicted in recent months – Collins, and Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) – were victors in November.

+ California 21 – This district was originally called by news organizations for the GOP, but Rep. David Valadao (R-CA) has seen his lead shrink from thousands to under 500 votes. It’s possible that Valadao could hang on, but election experts give his opponent T.J. Cox a good chance to win. That would be +40 for Democrats, if this race flips away from the GOP.

One final note – all of this counting is normal. California counts ballots for weeks, and does not certify results until December 7.

If the GOP wins in CA21, then there would be 92 new members of the House in 2019. If the Democrats win, that number would edge up to 93.

That’s a notable figure, because it is not only an over 21 percent change in the House (just over one of every 5 lawmakers would be new), but it would almost equal the dramatic change in 2010, when the Tea Party wave swept through Congress. That year the total change was 94 members.

That year was more lopsided in terms of new Republicans versus new Democrats – but 2019 will feature about two-thirds new Democrats, versus one-third in the GOP.

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