Women’s Group Takes ‘Cold Comfort’ in Helping Dem Women on Tough Night

Posted November 4, 2010 at 11:31am

File this under the department of the glass being half full.

EMILY’s List, the pro-abortion-rights group that works to elect Democratic women, has released a post-election memo pointing out a few achievements despite a bad night for Democrats overall.

A top priority for EMILY’s List this year was protecting four female Democratic Senators, including Sens. Barbara Boxer (Calif.), Barbara Mikulski (Md.), Kristen Gillibrand (N.Y.) and Patty Murray (Wash.).

Boxer won despite being a top GOP target and Mikulski and Gillibrand cruised to re-election. Murray’s race has yet to be called, but she remains slightly ahead in vote tallies that have been counted.

In the House, nine Democratic women were defeated Tuesday and two more could still fall in races that are too close to call. But because Democrats took such a beating Tuesday, the percentage of women in the Democratic Caucus will actually go up from 22 percent (56 of 255) in the 111th Congress to 25 percent (49 of 196 if current losses hold) in the 112th Congress.

“The bottom line is our women stood up to this wave just as well (or better) than any other group of Democratic candidates,” the EMILY’s List memo notes. “They stood up to it better than their male counterparts.”

EMILY’s List also made sure to point out that Republicans were unable to increase their percentage of women in the House for the 112th Congress. If current margins hold, Republican women will continue to make up 9 percent of the House Republican Conference.

“Our night was no worse than any Democrat’s in D.C.,” the memo adds. “Cold comfort, yes, but with the amount written this cycle about the Year of the GOP Woman, the First-Ever Female Backslide, Mama Grizzlies, and the Defecting Gender Gap, this was not something we could have taken for granted.”