There’s one thing we can thank Donald Trump for.
But if there was one thing, it would be the record number of Republicans who no longer hold seats in the House because of him.
With the news this weekend that Rep. Peter King would not seek re-election—setting up another 2020 battleground in NY-2—100 Republicans have left or are leaving the House since Trump became President. That’s 41 percent.
Half are out because of retirement, not because they lost re-election. That’s good news for Democrats’ chances of increasing our majority next year, and it’s good news for our chances once again to increase the number of women elected to Congress.
It’s well-known in politics that challengers are more likely to win open seats. But data also shows that women are more likely to run and win in open seats. Indeed, the large number of open seats in 2018 contributed to the record number of women who ran and won their elections to House seats.
Carolyn Bourdeaux, GA-7, who lost her seat to the now retiring Republican incumbent Rob Woodall by .2 points in 2018;
Christina Hale, IN-5, who’s running in Indianapolis’s rapidly purpling suburbs in a seat vacated by one of House Republicans’ few remaining women, Susan Brooks.
Gina Ortiz Jones, TX-23, whose opponent in 2018 was Will Hurd, House Republicans’ only Black member and one of the few remaining moderates;
Kathleen Williams, MT-At Large, who won’t be facing body-slammer Greg Gianforte this round since he’s running for governor;
And Rita Hart, IA-2, who is actually running for the seat that Democrat Dave Loebsack is leaving, but it’s still one more chance to get closer to gender parity!
Most of these women are also running for the second time, so that’s another leg up for them. But they’ll still face many challenges.