Stephanie Schriock, the president of Emily’s List, the largest national organization devoted to electing female candidates, said that in the 10 months before the election in 2016, about 1,000 women contacted her organization about running for office or getting involved in other ways. Since the election, she said, the number has exploded to more than 22,000.
“We have never seen anything like what we have seen over the last 12 months,” Ms. Schriock said. “If you could underline that four times, that’s what I mean.”
Ms. Gooditis won her race for the Virginia House of Delegates in November, defeating a three-term Republican incumbent, Randy Minchew. She was one of 11 women who flipped seats in Virginia state legislative races, and women across the country took notice of the wave.
Democrats are the overwhelming beneficiaries of the surge in women’s activism, and even hope it could lead to retaking the House if candidates like Ms. Tran and Ms. Ramsey prevail over incumbent Republicans.
Their optimism will be tested in primaries early next year and throughout the summer, but the early signs indicate that female candidates are raising significant sums and building strong organizations.
“If you look at 2017, I think it becomes an historic year of the woman,” said Anita Dunn, who served as communications director for President Barack Obama.
She said it began with the Women’s March, where the scale of the movement showed great potential for continued engagement. “Then the year is ending on this note of women who are stepping forward, finding their voices, in many ways doing the classic ‘we are mad as hell and we aren’t going to take it any more.’ It’s sort of a primal scream.”
The largest increase by far is in the number of female House candidates — 354 — which includes 291 Democrats and 63 Republicans, according to data from the Rutgers center. The number of women challenging incumbents is almost four times the number at the same period in 2015.
In the Senate, there are almost double the number of female candidates — 25 Democrats and 13 Republicans so far — than there were at this point in…