"We have a reached a tipping point."
Fueled by anti-Trump backlash, a surge of women are putting their names on the ballot and running for office in Texas, with potentially momentous implications for the balance of power in the deep red state.
According to Politico, at least at least 50 women have filed to run for congressional seats in the March 6 primary election in Texas, a state with just three women in a House delegation that covers 36 congressional districts. Of those women, 36 are Democrats.
The flood of women — particularly progressive women — running for office in Texas reflects a broader trend taking place across the country. By the end of January, a record-breaking 446 women candidates were planning to run for seats in the House and Senate, according to the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University.
“We have reached a tipping point,” said Veronica Escobar, a Democratic candidate who could become the first Latina from Texas in Congress. “I’m hoping that 2018 is the year that stars are aligned for other women.”
In Texas, which has the second-largest congressional delegation in the country, the surge of women candidates could have major implications down the line. Having more women from the state in congressional seats could eventually put more women in line for chairmanships, said James Henson, director of the Texas Politics Project.
“More women in the delegation would mean more women having an impact,” Henson told Politico.
So what’s fueling the surge?
According to Politico, women cited “anger and frustration with the status quo” as the main factors that compelled them to put their names on the ballot this year.
Besides the massive anti-Trump momentum sweeping across the nation, women also pointed to the growing number of sexual misconduct scandals surrounding male politicians as a reason for their growing interest in political activism. Candidates said they want to show their daughters and other young girls and women that the system works — and they believe the best way to do that is by jumping into the system and changing it themselves.
The Washington Post similarly reported that “fierce liberal opposition to President Trump and sustained levels of voter disgust toward the performance of lawmakers inside the Capitol” are driving an unprecedented spike in political involvement.
But it goes beyond Trump. Asked which party they would vote for in the midterm elections, 64 percent of American women in a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll said they would choose a Democratic candidate, compared to just 29 percent for Republicans — a stunning 35-point advantage for Democrats.
Women made up more than half of the 2016 electorate and have cast a majority of the votes in every presidential election since 1984, making them an incredibly powerful voting bloc.
Now, with a record-breaking number of women running for office even in the most conservative states, their influence in politics can only grow stronger.