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New Democrats, Hispanic Caucus See Gains for 113th

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call
Rep. Raul M. Grijalva , co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, championed the groupís Election Day gains.

The Nov. 6 House elections provided fresh blood for the New Democrat Coalition and Congressional Hispanic Caucus, while the Blue Dog Coalition continued to dwindle and the Congressional Black Caucus held steady at 43 members.

Meanwhile, the ranks of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, the largest ideological bloc among House Democrats, rose to as many as 79 members.

But the largest relative gains were among the New Democrats and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

The New Democrats, who boasted 43 members in the 112th Congress, could have a net gain of as many as 12 members. The group picked up 12 to 15 newly elected members it endorsed (some races are not yet called), and as many as five other lawmakers are considering membership.

The gains could leave the New Democrats with more than the 54 members that made up the Blue Dog Coalition in the 111th Congress, when its membership was at its peak.

The Blue Dogs, who had 18 members in the 112th, will return with 15 members ó 14 returning and one new.

Although the numbers are way down from the groupís heyday, the election was not as bad for the Blue Dogs as it might have been, including victories by Reps. John Barrow, D-Ga., and Jim Matheson, D-Utah. Rep.-elect Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz., a Blue Dog who lost in 2010, won last week and is returning to Congress.

The CHC gained nine members, which increases its size from 20 members in the 112th Congress to 25 members now. Four members did not return, including former chairman Rep. Joe Baca, D-Calif.

The Congressional Black Caucus gained five new members that will replace five members who were members of the caucus in the 112th but arenít returning, keeping the group at 43 members. The group remains the largest race-based caucus.

The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus made gains, but calculating the groupís membership is more complicated than for the CBC and CHC because non-Asians make up a good number of its members. In terms of Asian-American and Pacific Islander members, the caucus had 12 members in the 112th Congress. Ten of them are returning, and four or five new members will join the caucus, depending on outstanding election results.

The groupís membership includes two delegates who are members of Congress but do not vote on the floor.

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California and other Democratic leaders have touted the CHC and CAPAC pickups as part of the overall diversity of the just-elected Democratic caucus.

ďWhen we go back to Washington, we will have a Democratic Caucus thatís a majority of women and minorities ó imagine that. First time in the history of the world and our country,Ē Pelosi told reporters in San Francisco on Sunday, according to a transcript provided by Pelosiís office.

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