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A voter in South Austin hands out campaign material outside the Gardner Betts Annex. Photo: Drew Anthony Smith / Getty Images

More than 1 million Democratic voters went to the polls in Texas last night, the first time they've passed that number in a midterm primary since 2002, per AP. And more than half of the 50 women running for Congress in the reliably red state either advanced to the runoff or won their primaries.

Why it matters: Texas might not be turning blue, but last night's primaries showed how 2018 could be the year for Democratic women running successfully in tough districts around the country. "It was not a good night to be a white guy in a Democratic primary," said a Democratic pollster involved in various Texas races.

Winners: EMILY's List.

  • The group is arguably the largest resource for pro-choice Democratic women. Of the five House candidates they endorsed, two won their primaries outright (TX-16 and TX-29) and three advanced to runoffs (TX-07, TX-23 and TX-32).
  • The two who won their primaries, Veronica Escobar and Sylvia Garcia, are one step closer to becoming the first Latinas Texas has ever elected to Congress.
  • "Democratic primary voters are looking for the opposite of Trump," said the Democratic pollster involved in Texas races. "A progressive woman is a good vessel for that."

Losers: The DCCC.

  • They released a brutal opposition memo encouraging Texas voters not to support Laura Moser in TX-07, calling her a "Washington insider who begrudgingly moved to Houston to run for Congress."
  • Moser is now headed into a runoff against Lizzie Fletcher (backed by EMILY's List).
  • Fletcher led Moser by 19 percentage points in absentee voting and 7 percentage points in early voting, and last night Moser closed that gap to just 5 percentage points.
  • The DCCC's opposition to Moser arguably helped her in this race. Given their desire to weed out candidates in crowded California primaries, it's not clear that any candidate will be too intimidated by the DCCC's involvement in their race moving forward.

Big picture: General enthusiasm among Democratic voters who are angry about President Trump — whose presidency has inspired women's marches around the world and coincided with the #MeToo movement — could continue to propel women candidates forward in 2018.

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - World

In photos: Pope Francis spreads message of peace on first trip to Iraq

Pope Francis waving as he arrives near the ruins of the Syriac Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception (al-Tahira-l-Kubra), in the old city of Iraq's northern Mosul on March 7. Photo: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP via Getty Images

Pope Francis was on Sunday visiting areas of northern Iraq once held by Islamic State militants.

Why it matters: This is the first-ever papal trip to Iraq. The purpose of Francis' four-day visit is largely intended to reassure the country's Christian minority, who were violently persecuted by ISIS, which controlled the region from 2014-2017.

Cuomo faces fresh misconduct allegations from former aides

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo during a February press conference in New York City. Photo: Seth Wenig/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The office of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) was on Saturday facing fresh accusations of misconduct against his staff, including further allegations of inappropriate behavior against two more women. His office denies the claims.

Driving the news: The Washington Post reported Cuomo allegedly embraced an aide when he led the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and that two male staffers who worked for him in the governor's office accused him of routinely berating them "with explicit language."

In photos: Protesters rally for George Floyd ahead of Derek Chauvin's trial

Chaz Neal, a Redwing community activist, outside the Minnesota Governor's residence during a protest in support of George Floyd in St.Paul, Minnesota, on March 6. Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

Dozens of protesters were rallying outside the Minnesota governor's mansion in St Paul Saturday, urging justice for George Floyd ahead of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin's trial over the 46-year-old's death.

The big picture: Chauvin faces charges for second-degree murder and manslaughter over Floyd's death last May, which ignited massive nationwide and global protests against racism and for police reform. His trial is due to start this Monday, with jury selection procedures.

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