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2018 is the year of the Democratic woman

The 2018 midterm election has been widely called the "year of the woman," but it's really the year of the Democratic woman.

Data: David A. Hopkins, Boston College; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Why it matters: More women are registered to vote than men, women vote in higher numbers than men and there's been a gender gap in every midterm election since 2006 and every presidential election since 1980. In polls this cycle, Democrats have led among women by 20 percentage points on average.

  • Of course, a gender gap alone doesn't guarantee success for Democrats — just look at 2014 and 2016. But the key difference this year is the number of women voting for Democrats and the number of women running as Democrats.

Be smart: "The level of enthusiasm among women is going to bear directly on Democratic success," said Jennifer Lawless, a politics professor at the University of Virginia. "If there is a blue wave, that will exist in part because of women."