Number of Women in Congress Could Fall

Danny Johnston / AP Photo

While many pundits have decided that the 2010 midterms could mark “the year of the woman,” this November is actually shaping up as quite the opposite. For the first time since 1978, the number of women serving in Congress is poised to drop. Currently, women hold 90 seats in Congress, with 69 of them in Democratic hands and 21 belonging to Republicans. But after November, as many as 10 of those could be replaced by men. Among the notable female candidates in danger are Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, Betsy Markey of Colorado, and Patty Murray of Washington. Women have historically done better in years dominated by Democrats, but the GOP is insisting that its likely success in November will not hurt the cause. "The 2010 candidate recruitment class is a formidable one, and that includes a number of top-tier female candidates who will likely be called 'congresswoman' after November," said a spokesman for the National Republican Campaign Committee.