Updated Aug 15, 2018

A midterm trend: women replacing men

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

At least five men who currently occupy prominent offices will definitely be replaced by women after last night's primaries in Minnesota, Vermont, Connecticut, and Wisconsin. There are now at least 199 women who have won their primaries for the House in 2018.

Why it matters: Midterm elections are typically a referendum on the president, but 2018 is showing over and over again that Americans want more women in elected office under the Trump era.

The men taken out by women include:

  • Former Democratic Sen. Al Franken, who was already replaced by a woman in the interim. Now, both the Democratic and Republican slots on the general election ballot for the remainder of his term are filled by women.
  • Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison will definitely be replaced by a woman in Minnesota — two women advanced to the general election for his congressional seat.
  • GOP Rep. Mark Sanford lost his June primary for re-election to Katie Arrington in South Carolina.
  • Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley lost his primary bid in New York for re-election to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
  • GOP Rep. Tom Price was replaced by Karen Handel after the special election for Georgia's 6th district, which was left open once Price left to work in the Trump administration.

What to watch: A woman, Kerri Harris, is trying to replace Sen. Tom Carper in Delaware and, in Massachusetts, Ayanna Pressley is taking on incumbent Democratic Rep. Michael Capuano.

The state of play: Women are leading the ballot for the Senate in Wisconsin and Minnesota after last night's primaries. Neither state has ever had a female GOP senator.

  • Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin and Republican State Sen. Leah Vukmir advanced to the general in Wisconsin. Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar won her primary for re-election, and her colleague, Sen. Tina Smith, will face GOP nominee Karin Housley for the other Senate seat.

Other notable races where women saw success:

  • Connecticut's next secretary of state will remain a woman as both Democratic incumbent Denise W. Merrill and Republican Susan Chapman were uncontested.
  • EMILY's List-backed Angie Craig is set to take on vulnerable Republican Rep. Jason Lewis in Minnesota's 2nd district.
  • Vermont's Christine Hallquist is the first transgender woman to be a major party nominee for governor.
  • Jahana Hayes, an African-American woman and former national teacher of the year, would be Connecticut’s first black woman in Congress if elected in November.

The bottom line: Congress is going to look a lot different after Nov. 6, and women were already poised to overtake white men among House Democrats before these primaries.

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