This year, the Feminist Majority endorsed its largest field of U.S. House candidates since its founding in 1987—92 new House candidates (67 women and 25 men) and 91 incumbent House candidates. In the House races, all of our endorsed incumbents won and as many as 34 of our endorsed new women candidates and 16 of our endorsed new men candidates won, contributing to the 116th Congress’s Democratic majority in the House of Representatives. All of the candidates we endorsed support access to abortion and birth control as well as equality for women, LGBTQ rights, civil rights, healthcare access, education equity, and economic justice.
The newly elected Democratic women make up over 60% of the Democratic gains. They are a very diverse group including the 2016 Teacher of the Year, a former military helicopter pilot, a former CIA officer, veterans, small business owners, non-profit organization leaders, social workers, lawyers, health care workers, public servants, and state legislators. They include African Americans and Latinas, the first two Native American women, the first two Muslim women, and the youngest women ever to be elected to Congress.
On the Senate side, nine Feminist Majority endorsed women incumbents were re-elected while two were defeated. We were also proud to endorse new candidates Jacky Rosen, who won in Nevada, and Kyrsten Sinema, who was in the too-close-to-call Arizona race that will not be decided for several more days.
The Feminist Majority’s Students Vote, Students Win independent expenditure campaign was determined to increase the feminist vote among young people, hiring some 200 campus organizers to rally students to the polls. Those organizers recruited over 2000 volunteers working on campuses in Arizona, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and North Dakota to get out the youth feminist vote.
Young voters nationwide turned out in record numbers, favoring Democrats by an overwhelming 2 to 1 margin, according to exit polls. Turnout rates for 18-29 year olds hit 31% in 2018 up from 21% in 2014, according to data from CIRCLE.
In Nevada, turnout among 18-29 year olds in 2018 was estimated at twice the turnout in 2014, according to the Institute of Politics at Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Turnout was even higher at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and the University of Nevada, Reno where Feminist Majority organizers worked to mobilize student voters. UNLV turnout was 120% the rate from 2014 and at UNR, turnout was more than 300% what it was in 2014, according to NextGen.
Lines of college students waiting to vote were so long at Arizona State University that the Feminist Majority protested and worked with election lawyers to double the number of voting stations in the late afternoon. Even with the additional stations, the final students at ASU could not vote until more than 2 and ½ hours after the polls closed.
At the statewide level the Feminist Majority endorsed women candidates for governor who won in Maine, Kansas, Michigan, Rhode Island, Oregon, and New Mexico, with a possibility of a recount and victory in Georgia. The women Democratic gubernatorial wins represent a historic breakthrough.
In 1987 when the Feminist Majority began, women comprised 5% of Congress. In 1992, after five years of our Feminization of Power campaign and the Year of Women, women comprised 10% of Congress. With the midterm elections of 2018, women will comprise 23% of the Members of Congress with over 100 women in the House and 23 women in the Senate. There is still a long way to go to equality but with determination we will get there at a faster and faster rate with more diversity and more feminist women and men.###