Women win big in United States midterm elections 2018

Hugh Fox
November 8, 2018

As EMILY's List President Stephanie Schriock points out to BuzzFeed News, this incoming class of women will include the youngest (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, 29) and the oldest (Donna Shalala, 77) in its ranks.

With black candidates in several high-profile races - including gubernatorial candidates Andrew Gillum of Florida and Stacey Abrams in Georgia - voters nationally said by 71-24 percent it's important to elect more racial and ethnic minorities to public office and 44 percent say it's very important.

After upsetting longtime incumbent Democrat Joe Crowley in the district's June primary, Ocasio-Cortez defeated Republican Anthony Pappas, a St. John's University professor in the general election.

In rapid succession, the House got its first two Muslim women: Minnesota's Ilhan Omar and Michigan's Rashida Tlaib. Meanwhile the Arizona senate race is too close to call, but either Republican or Democrat, the victor will be the state's first woman in the seat.

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America's first openly gay Governor, Jared Polis was elected to take the helms of Colorado, while Sharice Davids, became both the first Native American congresswoman and the first lesbian congresswoman from Kansas.

The Chicago native settled down in Boston after college and later became the city's first black councilwoman.

Asma Mohammed and Ashley Fairbanks celebrate as results come in at Democratic candidate Ilhan Omar's election night headquarters in Minneapolis on Tuesday. Pressley in MA and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in NY were among women who defeated long-serving white male incumbents in party primaries and won. Missouri's Claire McCaskill and North Dakota's Heidi Heitkamp were both vulnerable as Democrats in deep red states, and a lot of people are pointing to their votes against Brett Kavanaugh as what cost them their elections.

Trump was elected by the largest gender gap on record, and women have moved even more leftward throughout the first two years of his presidency, even as men have gravitated toward the Republican Party. Tlaib was famously escorted from a Trump rally in 2016 as she shouted questions at the candidate, asking him if he had ever read the constitution. Women poured into grass-roots groups determined to regain Democratic control of Congress and flooded organizations that trained them to run for office.

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In Massachusetts, Ayanna Pressley ran unopposed as a Democrat and became the first black woman to represent the commonwealth in Congress.

16 women nominated for Governor (of the 36 states electing one today).

The 2018 midterm election season saw a historic increase in progressive candidates of color, who galvanized supporters in statewide and local races around the United States. In five states - Minnesota, Nebraska, New York, Washington and Wisconsin - female candidates challenged sitting female senators. He also holds right-leaning views on gun control and abortion, which helped in a solid-red state.

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