There are currently no women representing the state of Pennsylvania. But come November, there could be as many as seven.
Eight women won their primaries on Tuesday—seven Democrats and one Republican. It was a promising sign for Democrats, who see Pennsylvania as ground zero in their effort to regain control of the House: The party needs to pick up 23 seats in November to win the House majority, and a chunk of those could be in Pennsylvania. Two key factors are helping them out: Congressional redistricting has made several House districts more favorable for Democrats, and five Republican lawmakers have announced their retirements, putting several districts up for grabs.
To have a chance at retaking the House, Democrats need to win in the state—and they’re going to be relying on women to do it. “In the three districts that the Democrats have a good chance to pick up—Pennsylvania 4, 5, and 6—the nominees are women,” said G. Terry Madonna, the director of the Center for Politics and Public Affairs at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, in an interview. That so many Pennsylvania women are running—and winning—matches a broader trend: More than twice as many women are running for Congress nationwide in 2018 than in 2016, and they’re winning their primaries in large numbers. The vast majority of those women are Democrats.