s
s
Sections
Search
We don't just cover the North Bay. We live here.
Did You Know? In the first 10 days of the North Bay fire, nearly 1.5 million people used their mobile devices to visit our sites.
Already a subscriber?
iPhone
Wow! You read a lot!
Reading enhances confidence, empathy, decision-making, and overall life satisfaction. Keep it up! Subscribe.
Already a subscriber?
iPhone
Oops, you're out of free articles.
Until next month, you can always look over someone's shoulder at the coffee shop.
Already a subscriber?
iPhone
We don't just cover the North Bay. We live here.
Did You Know? In the first 10 days of the North Bay fire, we posted 390 stories about the fire. And they were shared nearly 137,000 times.
Already a subscriber?
iPhone
Supporting the community that supports us.
Obviously you value quality local journalism. Thank you.
Already a subscriber?
iPhone
Oops, you're out of free articles.
We miss you already! (Subscriptions start at just 99 cents.)
Already a subscriber?
iPhone
X

The "Follow This Story" feature will notify you when any articles related to this story are posted.

When you follow a story, the next time a related article is published — it could be days, weeks or months — you'll receive an email informing you of the update.

If you no longer want to follow a story, click the "Unfollow" link on that story. There's also an "Unfollow" link in every email notification we send you.

This tool is available only to subscribers; please make sure you're logged in if you want to follow a story.

Login

X

Please note: This feature is available only to subscribers; make sure you're logged in if you want to follow a story.

LoginSubscribe

The aftershock from Hillary Clinton’s defeat has been two years in coming, but on Tuesday night it arrived, as legions of women were elected to Congress and statehouses across the country.

One after another, they won across the map.

Democrat Laura Kelly was elected governor of ruby-red Kansas. Four Democratic women — Madeleine Dean, Mary Scanlon, Christina Houlahan and Susan Wild — will join what had been an all-male congressional delegation from Pennsylvania. Former Navy helicopter pilot Rebecca Michelle “Mikie” Sherrill flipped New Jersey’s 11th Congressional District from red to blue.

Texas elected its first Latinas to Congress: state Sen. Sylvia Garcia of Houston and former El Paso County Judge Veronica Escobar. Congress will also have its first two Native American women: Democrats Debra Haaland of New Mexico and Sharice Davids of Kansas.

“We were hoping we would be able to make a real difference,” said Stephanie Schriock, the president of Emily’s List, which recruits and raises money for pro-choice candidates. “We pushed hard and played in places that were real stretches.”

All of this, by the time it happened, was hardly a surprise. Women were running this year in record numbers at every level of the ballot.

And they are making themselves felt in politics in other ways, as well. Nearly every poll shows that the gender gap has become a chasm. The face of resistance in the Trump era has truly been a female one, starting with the massive protest marches they staged the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, in cities and towns throughout the nation. They are giving more to candidates than ever before. And the #MeToo movement has added another impetus.

This has been largely a Democratic phenomenon. In fact, there are likely to be fewer Republican women in the House next January than there are now. But the GOP’s female candidates also made history in some places on Tuesday. Among them was Rep. Marsha Blackburn, who was the first woman from Tennessee ever to be elected to the Senate.

A Washington Post-Schar School poll of battleground district voters showed women also took different priorities into the voting booth on Tuesday. By 14 percentage points, they were more likely than men to name health care as one of the top two issues in determining their votes. The economy, meanwhile, was a less important factor to women: Only 30 percent named it as one of their top two priorities, while 40 percent of men did.

It will be days before we get a broad sense of what happened in state legislative races, but it appears certain that women will have make significant gains there as well.

According to a tally by Rutgers University’s Center for American Women and Politics, 3,379 women were running Tuesday for seats in legislatures across the country, up more than 25 percent from two years ago. In 35 states, there were record numbers of female Democrats in contention; in 10 states, unprecedented tallies of Republican women.

All of this new female representation on the state level will have long-run implications. More women will be part of the deal-cutting that happens when legislatures draw the maps for once-a-decade redistricting. Given the importance that women voters have placed on health care, they will, no doubt, add to the pressure in some states to do things such as expanding their Medicaid programs.

There have been other election seasons that have been declared “the year of the woman.” This time, though, women have left an imprint on politics that feels like it will last — no longer a novelty, but a norm.

Karen Tumulty is a columnist for the Washington Post.

You can send a letter to the editor at letters@pressdemocrat.com

Show Comment