CONCLUSIONS AND CAVEATS
The Democratic Party is under siege in California and Florida, where significant gains were made by Republicans, but in Texas, Republican progress was minutely incremental. Democratic representation in Florida has decreased from 63 percent in 1986 to 53 percent following the 1994 election, and this decline was accompanied by Republican control of the Florida Senate. In California, Republicans gained a majority in the General Assembly as their representation rose from 45 percent in 1986 to 51 percent in 1994. Texas Democrats proved to be more resilient, although their representation fell 4 percentage points to 59 percent following the 1994 elections. Republican progress in Texas is characterized as slow in the face of grudging and effective Democratic opposition. Within this party conflict, women made important gains, which I will summarize before addressing general party success.
Within the party fray, women's success varied from declining numbers of winning candidates to winning tallies that nearly doubled or tripled their representation in our three lower legislative chambers. Most of these changes occurred in 1992, duly noted as the "year of the woman," and their success was dramatically associated with the women who were elected to the U. S. Senate. Several paradoxes exist during this period.