2017 Democratic Wins For Female Politicians
Is that the rallying cry of the left we hear? Yes, yes it is! Last night was a good night to be a Democrat.
We took home governorships in Virginia and New Jersey; at least tied if not flipped the Virginia House of Delegates in the party’s best performance in the state since the literal 1800s; and won a special state Senate election in Washington that gave Democrats control of the state’s entire government and therefore control of all of the state governments on the West Coast. And those are just a few of the highlights. Already this morning, our feeds are filled with thinkpiece after thinkpiece after thinkpiece after thinkpiece after thinkpiece about how the night was a huge win for Democrats. And it was.
But you know who brought the damn house (and in some cases, the House) down? Women.
Last night, voters in Virginia elected the first two Latina women, the first Asian woman, the first openly lesbian woman, and the first openly trans woman to House of Delegates seats. In Minnesota, Andrea Jenkins became the first openly transgender person of color to win public office, where she’ll be serving the fine people of Minneapolis on the city council. Seattle elected Jenny Durkan, its first openly lesbian mayor and the first woman mayor of the city since the 1920s. Crystal Murillo, a 23-year-old recent grad, proved that young people are in this and took home a city council seat in populous Aurora, Colorado, defeating a 79-year-old incumbent. Democrat Vi Lyles will be the first Black woman mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina, a key city in a major battleground state. And Sheila Oliver is now New Jersey’s first-ever Black lieutenant governor. And that’s just on the candidate side. Analysts are already calling last night’s Virginia races the “revenge of the suburbs” after Democrats achieved a near-sweep of northern Virginia. Almost all of EMILY’s List-endorsed pro-choice women candidates won their House of Delegates races. Planned Parenthood raised over $3 million dollars for its candidates in Virginia and talked to over half a million voters. And this doesn’t even begin to describe the countless hours so many people, particularly women, put in on the ground canvassing, phone banking, donating, and supporting women candidates, many of whom were unknowns and didn’t have the traditional support of a party.
Women voters also turned out. In the Virginia gubernatorial race, White women with college degrees favored Democrat Ralph Northam by 16 points. In a huge shift from the 2016 election, married women came out for Northam by 10 points compared to the one-point lead they gave Trump just a year prior in the state. Over two-thirds of voters under 30 went for Northam, compared to 45% who voted for Democrat Terry McAuliffe in 2013. And Black women continued to make it rain, with 91% of them voting for Northam.
Make no mistake: Women came to play on Election Day 2017 as candidates, organizers, and voters. And it paid off.
originally seen on Refinery29