Two new U.S. senators were sworn in Wednesday - Doug Jones of Alabama and Tina Smith of Minnesota - both arriving after presence in part of a national political firestorm. Jones' election as a Democrat from Alabama is remarkable, but Smith's entry to the Senate is the one that sets a statistical record. She becomes the 22nd woman in the U.S. Senate, marking the largest number of women ever to serve there.
That simply brings ther Senate more or less into line with the rest of American politics, because the 20 percent mark is about where women are in politics nationally.
The Center for American Women in Politics at Rutgers University has looked at the numbers, and as a matter of percentage here is the female membership of various elective cadres:
• Senate - 22%.
• House of Representatives - 19%.
• Statewide elected officials (including governors) - 24%.
• Mayors (100 largest cities) - 22%.
• State legislatures - 25%.
The across the board similarity is remarkable.
And it may rise across the board a year from now. - rs