Don’t get mad – get elected.
That’s what women seem to be saying en masse following the U.S. Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade, which had granted people access to safe and legal abortions. Candidate support organizations around the country are reporting spikes in interest following the decision.
Emily’s List, which specifically focuses on assisting pro-choice women candidates, says roughly 500 people reached out about their own possible runs for office after the decision on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health was handed down last month.
“Unfortunately, the Supreme Court just reminded people in a pretty big way of the great importance of those state races,” Christina Reynolds of Emily’s List said to CBS News. “The reality is your state legislature has an immense impact on your day-to-day life.”
They aren’t the only ones reporting increases in interest. Run for Something, an organization that recruits young, progressive Americans for elected office, says roughly 3,000 people contacted them following the ruling, and 53 percent of them identified as women. Emerge America, geared toward Democratic women candidates, says interest tripled in recent weeks.
At present, women are still woefully underrepresented at the top tiers of government. While there are record numbers of women presently serving in the U.S. House and Senate, they still comprise just 27 percent of 539 seats in Congress.
Amanda Litman, co-founder of Run for Something, told CBS News that the frustration among this new crop of candidates with the status quo is palpable. “We can’t count on D.C., can’t count on the Supreme Court, can’t count on the White House, can’t count on Congress.”
These new candidates would appear on ballots throughout the country in 2023 and 2024, if they follow through with launching campaigns. And if they do, their odds of winning are good, A’shanti Gholar, president of Emerge America, noted to CBS News.
“When women run for office, they win at the same rates as men. So the more women that we have running, we’re absolutely going to see an increase.”