Women played a major role—both as candidates and voters—when Democrats seized control of the House of Representatives from Republicans in Tuesday’s tumultuous midterm elections. And even with some races yet to be called in an already record-breaking election year for female office-seekers, the non-partisan Gender Watch project noted that more women—and more women of color—will serve in Congress than ever before.
Not only did diversity take a front seat in Tuesday’s results, something else became crystal clear: Democrats could not have flipped the House blue without women. And in a midterm election cycle that was seen as a referendum on President Donald Trump—who has come under fire for his comments about women and accusations of sexual assault—the wave of women coming into Congress sends a major message.
As of early Wednesday, 92 women had been elected to the House, according to the Center for American Women and Politics, which calculated at that hour that “with 10 holdover Senators, the 116th Congress will have at least 112 congresswomen serving.”
“This resistance began with women and it’s being led by women tonight,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), a perennial Trump foe who hasn’t ruled out running against him, told supporters Tuesday. A Reuters/Ipsos poll lent that theory some weight: It reported 55 percent of women said they supported a Democrat for the House this year, up from 49 percent who said they did so in 2014.
In a statement, Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez praised “all of the Democratic leaders, organizers, volunteers, and voters – especially women” who contributed to the win.
As the final races are fought to the finish—including a cliffhanger Georgia governor battle—and turnout numbers are being crunched, here’s a rundown of some of the big wins and losses for women in an election that’s truly one for the history books:
Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib is now set to become the first Palestinian-American Muslim woman in Congress. She’ll be joined by Ilhan Omar, who will be both the first Somali-American Muslim congresswoman and the first woman of color to represent Minnesota in D.C.
Jahana Hayes of Connecticut and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts will be the first women of color to represent their states, while Deb Haaland of New Mexico and Sharice Davids of Kansas go to Washington as the first Native American congresswomen.
In Virginia, Democrats Abigail Spanberger and Jennifer Wexton defeated Republican incumbents in high-profile races, while Florida’s Donna Shalala and New Jersey’s Mikie Sherrill also claimed victories in districts held by Republicans, as did Lauren Underwood of Illinois. Pennsylvania, which now has an all-male Congressional delegation, will send four women (all Democrats) to the Capitol. Iowa elected its first women—Democrats Abby Finkenauer and Cindy Axne—to the House.
Not every closely watched female House candidate carried the day, of course: Two Democrats who made their military service a centerpiece of their campaigns, Amy McGrath of Kentucky and MJ Hegar of Texas, both fell short. (In another nationally compelling Texas race, incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz managed to eke out a win over Democratic challenger Rep. Beto O’Rourke.)
The Senate came into Election Day with a 51-seat GOP majority. That’s a tiny advantage—but it was enough to get conservative Judge Brett Kavanaugh onto the Supreme Court after a turbulent confirmation process during which he defended himself against allegations of sexual assault dating back to his student years.
In one of the tightest and most closely watched battles in the nation, freshman Rep. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) beat Dean Heller, the only Republican defending his Senate seat in a state Hillary Clinton carried in 2016. The Nevada brawl pulled in support for Heller from both Trump (who denigrated Rosen as “Wacky Jacky”) and Vice President Mike Pence, while Rosen had the backing of their predecessors, Barack Obama and Joe Biden.
“This is a historic night for us,” Rosen said in her victory speech, noting that Nevada joins the handful of states represented by two female senators.
Democrats suffered Senate setbacks in North Dakota and Missouri, where incumbents Heidi Heitkamp and Claire McCaskill both fell to GOP opponents.
In Tennessee, Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn clinched her bid to be the state’s first woman to go to the Senate, soundly defeating Democratic former Gov. Phil Breseden in a faceoff in which she had the endorsement of Trump and her opponent had a major social influencer, Taylor Swift, on his side.
Arizona will also send its first woman to the Senate — but as of Wednesday morning, the headline-grabbing showdown between Republican Rep. Martha McSally and Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema remained too close to call.
South Dakota elected its first woman governor, Republican Kristi Noem, while Democrat Janet Mills will be the first female governor of Maine. New Mexico voters chose their first female Democratic Latina governor, Michelle Lujan Grisham, to succeed outgoing Republican Gov. Susana Martinez.
In Vermont, Democrat Christine Hallquist, the first openly transgender woman to win a major-party governor nomination, lost her underdog challenge to Republican Gov. Phil Scott, but in an upset, Kansas went with a Democratic woman, Laura Kelly, for governor over the GOP’s Kris Kobach.
Locked in a tight struggle rocked by racial overtones and charges of voter suppression, Georgia’s Stacey Abrams is vowing to fight for every vote in her quest to become the nation’s first African-American woman governor.
Abrams is the country’s last hope of seeing a black governor elected this year: Florida’s Andrew Gillum and Maryland’s Ben Jealous, both Democrats, lost their races. There are currently no African-American governors in office anywhere in the United States.
In the end, Tuesday’s news that the House would flip blue wasn’t directly addressed by the President, who called Election Night a “tremendous success” on Twitter and patted himself on the back for GOP wins in the Senate. But however he chooses to frame these midterms, a Democrat-led House may spell trouble for the president: It could make it harder for him to deliver on signature promises ahead of a 2020 re-election bid—and empowers critics who want to investigate his public policy and personal business dealings.
Stay tuned for more analysis of the 2018 midterms—and the role women have played in them.
Celeste Katz is senior political reporter for Glamour. Send news tips, questions, and comments to email@example.com.In a pivotal election year, Glamour is keeping track of the historic number of women running (and voting) in the midterm elections. For more on our latest midterm coverage, visit www.glamour.com/midterms.