How Women Candidates Changed American Politics in 2018

08 November, 2018, 06:26 | Author: Charlene Valdez
  • Congresswoman elect Ayanna Pressley greets volunteers at the Cambridge Democratic Headquarters

With most of the results now known, women in the United States have achieved a number of significant firsts and played a major role in shifting the figures in Congress.

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.

This year, women not only increased their numbers, but the new class of lawmakers also includes women from a wide patchwork of backgrounds, adding to a Congress that is expected to be more diverse.

Having turned 29 last month, Ocasio-Cortez will inch out the previous holder of the distinction, New York Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik, who was elected to Congress at age 30.

As first-time women candidates running in MI and IL, they were part of a surge of new Congressional candidates aiming to flip GOP-held seats in crucial swing districts.

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Some of the big wins for Democrats on Tuesday were experienced leaders, like Michigan's Gov. -elect Gretchen Whitmer, who led the Democrats in the state Senate, or Kansas's Gov. -elect Laura Kelly, who has served in the Kansas state Senate since 2005.

While notable Republican successes include the first female senator elected from Tennessee and the first female governor of South Dakota, there are concerns that the overt Democrat disparity could fan the partisan divide. Tlaib also becomes the first Palestinian-American in Congress and Omar the first Somali-American.

Jared Polis easily won his bid for Colorado's gubernatorial seat Tuesday night and in doing so became the first openly gay man ever elected as governor.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's surprise victory in the June congressional primary in NY shook up Washington and the Democratic Party. About six in 10 voted for the Democrat, compared with four in 10 for the Republican. Thousands of women have upended their lives over the last two years join the army of organizers devoted to changing politics and electing Democrats in the midterms. 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.

Another two Democrats made history as the first Latinas elected to Congress from Texas, a deeply red state.

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Republican women were animated by their own issues, including fears of borders being overrun and a backlash to the #MeToo movement.

Women will break the current record of 84 serving at the same time in the U.S. House.

"Jones said on Tuesday night that the "new Democratic Party" is now "younger, browner" and cooler". With the GOP in control of the Senate, Trump will have a majority to confirm his executive and judicial appointments. In five states - Minnesota, Nebraska, New York, Washington and Wisconsin - female candidates challenged sitting female senators.

Ilhan Omar, congresswoman-elect for Minnesota's 5th district.Rashida Tlaib, congresswoman-elect for Michigan's 13th district. The Democrat surged in the latter part of the year, polling neck and neck with Noem, but fell just short on Election Day.

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