Woman Making Her First Bid for Office Pulls Off Stunning Upset

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez fit the profile of the many women who’ve surged into congressional races this year, and of them all she managed to pull off what may be the most stunning upset of 2018. A 28-year-old activist making her first bid for elected office, Ocasio-Cortez defeated longtime Representative Joe Crowley in New York’s Democratic primary. New York was one seven states holding primaries or runoffs on Tuesday and women were candidates in 26 house primaries as well as the Republican and Democratic Senate contests.

Across the board female incumbents fared well, while women in some other races crowded each other out in multi-candidate fields. In Maryland, for example there were four women running in the crowded the Democratic Senate primary against incumbent Ben Cardin, who easily cruised to the nomination with 80 percent of the vote.

Following the pattern set in early races, the overwhelming majority of women ran as Democrats. Of the 28 women running in New York, only six were Republicans. All five women seeking congressional seats in Colorado were Democrats, as were the nine women running in Republican-dominated Oklahoma.

Women Competed in Congressional Primaries on June 26, 2018

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Here's How Women Have Done in Primaries So Far

A record number of women have stepped up for U.S. House and Senate races— as of . Overall, almost three-fourths of the women running are Democrats—and they’ve been more successful than their Republican counterparts. More than half of Democratic women who’ve faced voters have won their races compared to about 40 percent of Republicans.

Primary Results by State

Here's What to Watch in the States Still to Vote

Some pivotal races for women candidates are on the horizon. In Tennessee, Representative Marsha Blackburn is considered the likely Republican nominee in the race to replace Republican Senator Bob Corker, who is not seeking re-election. Arizona is poised to send a woman to the U.S. Senate to replace retiring Republican Jeff Flake. Kyrsten Sinema is the likely Democratic nominee, and the top two Republican candidates are women—Representative Martha McSally and former state legislator Kelli Ward.

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