There are 99 women serving in the current 113th Congress.
Florida Democrat Alex Sink would become the 100th woman in Congress, setting a new record, if she wins a special election today in the Tampa Bay-area 13th District.
Sink, Florida’s former chief financial officer and once Florida president for Bank of America, and Republican David Jolly, a former lobbyist and congressional aide, are competing for the seat that Republican Bill Young held for more than 40 years until his death last October. Polls suggest a close race in a district that President Barack Obama carried by about 1.5 percentage points in the 2012 election, according to data compiled by Bl0omberg.
A Sink victory would also widen a big partisan gap favoring Democrats in female representation in Congress, where Democratic women outnumber Republican women by 60 to 19 in the House and by 16 to 4 in the Senate. (Click here for a chart detailing female representation in Congress, including Democrats and Republicans.)
Female voters, a majority of the electorate, backed Obama by an 11 point margin in the 2012 election, while men backed Republican Mitt Romney by seven points, according to a national exit poll. The Democratic Party and groups favoring it also have a more established political infrastructure aiding female candidates.
“If you look at what’s going on on the left, we are out-researched, out-numbered and out-spent by groups” like Emily’s List, which helps recruit, train and fund Democratic female candidates who support abortion rights, said Sabrina Schaeffer, executive director of the Independent Women’s Forum, which supports limited government.
“And the amount of resources they have, we are like a little pill bug compared to the big gorilla,” said Schaeffer, who spoke last week at the Conservative Political Action Conference near Washington.