Historical Wins from the 2018 Midterm Elections


Photo via The New Yorker.

Significant changes to the demographics of Congress were predicted heading into Election Day on Nov. 8. But these changes came in ways never seen before, and are sure to shift the ideologies of members of the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Prior to the midterms, Republicans controlled the legislative (Congressional) and executive (Presidential) branches of the government. Additionally, the ideologies of the Supreme Court skew conservative. However, Democrats regained enough seats to take control of the House of Representatives, though Republicans still dominate the Senate.

The election brought 113 million voters to the polls, breaking the record for a midterm cycle. Additionally, the United States saw a new high in early voter turnout. More women and LGBT+ candidates ran than ever before, earning the midterm results the names “Year of the Woman” and bringing about a “Rainbow Wave,” respectively.


Below is a list of records broken in the 2018 midterm elections and how the elected are already stirring up action in Washington:


Youngest Woman Elected to Congress

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Photo via The Cut.

At 29 years old, Democratic socialist New Yorker Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez became the youngest-ever woman elected to the House of Representatives, where the minimum age for a congressperson is 25. Ocasio-Cortez has been dominating headlines since, candidly sharing her experiences from Capitol Hill on Twitter, from being mistaken as both an intern and a spouse during her orientation, to being mocked for her clothing choices.





First Elected Native American Women

Sharice Davids (L) and Deb Haaland (R). Photo via Salon.

Sharice Davids (D-KS) and Debra Haaland (D-NM) became the first Native American women elected to Congress. They are members of the Ho-Chunk Nation and Pueblo of Laguna tribes, respectively. Davids also identifies as a member of the LGBT+ community, contributing to what many are calling an apparent “Rainbow Wave” in this year’s election.





First Muslim Female Representatives

Ilhan Omar (L) and Rashida Talib (R). Photo via Middle East Eye.

Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Talib (D-MI) will now be the first female Muslims in the House of Representatives. Omar will also be the first Somali-American representative and first congresswoman to wear a hijab. Currently, Congress has a ban on headwear within its chambers, but House Democrats are pushing to lift the 181-year rule to accommodate Omar’s religious head covering, according to CBS.





First-Ever Openly LGBT+ Governor

Jared Polis. Photo via The Denver Post.

Democrat Jared Polis will be the first openly gay person to serve as governor, poised to take office in Colorado. Previously, Polis served in the House of Representatives for Colorado’s second district. He beat out Republican nominee Walker Stapleton in the gubernatorial election. Polis is also an alumnus of La Jolla Country Day School (just 30 minutes from the Helix campus!).




First Female Governor of Guam

Lou Leon Guerrero. Photo via Guam Business Magazine.


Often times, U.S. territories are overlooked during election cycles. However, businesswoman Lou Leon Guerrero made history in Guam by becoming the territory’s first-ever female governor. A Democrat, Guerrero is the President and CEO of the Bank of Guam.