What Today’s Texas Primary Might Predict About November’s Midterm Election Results

March 6, 2018, 3:47 PM UTC

The Lone Star State is the first state to take to the polls, kicking off the primary season Tuesday.

The results from the primary may provide a glance into what November’s midterm elections will look like, giving today’s vote added weight. And if the ballots are any indication, Congress may be a lot more female and Democratic come 2019.

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Democrats are running in all 36 congressional districts in Texas for the first time in 25 years. Perhaps more significantly, however, a record number of women are seeking public office. Fifty women are running for congressional seats across the state, while about 110 are seeking local office.

Although the U.S. is more than 50% female, they comprise less than 20% of Congress. That number is even lower in Texas. The Lone Star State currently has only three female representatives in the House—the last of whom assumed office in 1997. While the races are highly competitive, it is possible that another woman could be added to this count for the first time in 20 years.

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And the landscape in Texas reflects a broader phenomenon taking place across the country. A record number of women are running for Congress: over 400 for House seats and 50 for Senate at last count. That is more than double the number of women who ran in 2016.

Historically, the president’s party loses seats during the midterms, not least because of added motivation from the opposition party. But this time around, Trump’s presidency and the rise of the #MeToo movement has had the added effect of getting more women involved—on both sides of the aisle.

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