Overall, the number of women elected, while rising through much of the 1990s, has hit a plateau. Advocates are redoubling their efforts to elect more women this fall.
Jan. 9, 2003 Sens. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Tex.) hold a power coffee to welcome newly elected senators to Capitol Hill. Shown in the front row, from left: Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine), Blanche L. Lincoln (D-Ark.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Susan M. Collins (R-Maine), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) In the back row, from left: Mary L. Landrieu (D-La.), Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), Elizabeth Dole (R-N.C.), Hutchison, Mikulski, Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), hidden, Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.). Ray Lustig/The Washington Post Buy Photo