This telling chart shows just how much women are crushing the competition in 2018.

Women are crushing it at the ballot box this year. Full stop.

There have been a lot of buzz and punditry about the surge of women running for office in 2018. But with each passing primary leading up to the midterms, we're getting a clearer picture if "the year of women" will truly shift congressional gender makeups across the country or if it's just an overblown talking point.

Voters in pivotal June 5 primaries across eight states — including delegate-rich California — continued turning the hypothetical hype into an electoral reality.

Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images.


In California alone, 30 women will head to general election match-ups in November, including Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Notable first-time candidate and former Navy pilot Mikie Sherrill won the Democratic nomination to represent her district in New Jersey. And in New Mexico, voters chose female candidates to head to midterm contests in two of the state's three House races this fall.

One telling chart shows just how well female candidates have performed throughout 2018.

The graphic, shared on Twitter by Dave Wasserman, highlights the fact that women — and particularly Democratic women — are over-performing.

Big time.

In the chart, every bar is an individual primary race where a woman ran (with Democratic contests in blue and Republican contests in red). The bars rising above the Y-axis represent a woman defeating her opponent, and the percentage by which she did so.

As evidenced by the large block of blue victories toward the right, women are over-performing by an average of 15% in their Democratic primaries thus far. In the Republican primaries, it's 1.7%.  

It's easy to connect the dots between broader cultural and political events and a sharp rise in female candidates since the 2016 election.

In 2017, the Women's March evolved from a single day of action into a political force for progressive candidates, and the #MeToo movement empowered survivors of sexual abuse to speak up and organize. Legislative attacks on women's rights — as well as the LGBTQ community, people of color, and other marginalized groups — have helped form a broad coalition representing the resistance. And women are largely leading the way.

In the 65 Democratic primaries where no incumbent was running and at least one man and one woman were on the ballot, women won a whopping 45 contests, Wasserman wrote for The Cook Political Report in May. Men defeated their female challengers in just 18. (Two such elections are headed to runoffs; women were the top vote-receivers in both.)

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

Women of diverse backgrounds and experiences are making impressive strides.

In Alabama, a historically high number of black women are running for office. Transgender women in places like Virginia and Minnesota have shattered glass ceilings. On June 5, 27-year-old lesbian Julia Fahl upset her male primary challenger to win the mayorship race of Lambertville, New Jersey (incumbent David DelVecchio has held the office as long as Fahl's been alive).

In May, Stacey Abrams became the first black woman in Georgia to be nominated by a major party for governor. If she wins in November, she would be the country's first black female governor.

Is this what a sea change looks like?

Photo by Jessica McGowan/Getty Images.

To be sure, there's still work to be done — before and after November 2018.

Women — and particularly women of color, LGBTQ women, and disabled women — are still underrepresented in Congress. These primaries and the upcoming midterms won't counter the lopsided gender paradigm that's made state Houses and D.C. itself such (white, straight, abled) boys' clubs for centuries.

But it could change things for the better in big ways. And it starts at the ballot box.

Are you ready for the upcoming elections in your community? Make sure you're registered to vote.

More

If you're a woman and you want to be a CEO, you should probably think about changing your name to "Jeffrey" or "Michael." Or possibly even "Michael Jeffreys" or "Jeffrey Michaels."

According to Fortune, last year, more men named Jeffrey and Michael became CEOs of America's top companies than women. A whopping total of one woman became a CEO, while two men named Jeffrey took the title, and two men named Michael moved into the C-suite as well.

The "New CEO Report" for 2018, which looks at new CEOS for the 250 largest S&P 500 companies, found that 23 people were appointed to the position of CEO. Only one of those 23 people was a woman. Michelle Gass, the new CEO of Kohl's, was the lone female on the list.

Keep Reading Show less
popular

How much of what we do is influenced by what we see on TV? When it comes to risky behavior, Netflix isn't taking any chances.

After receiving a lot of heat, the streaming platform is finally removing a controversial scenedepicting teen suicide in season one of "13 Reasons Why. The decision comes two years after the show's release after statistics reveal an uptick in teen suicide.

"As we prepare to launch season three later this summer, we've been mindful about the ongoing debate around the show. So on the advice of medical experts, including Dr. Christine Moutier, Chief Medical Officer at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, we've decided with creator Brian Yorkey and the producers to edit the scene in which Hannah takes her own life from season one," Netflix said in a statement, per The Hollywood Reporter.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture

At Trump's 'Social Media Summit' on Thursday, he bizarrely claimed Arnold Schwarzenegger had 'died' and he had witnessed said death. Wait, what?!


He didn't mean it literally - thank God. You can't be too sure! After all, he seemed to think that Frederick Douglass was still alive in February. More recently, he described a world in which the 1770s included airports. His laissez-faire approach to chronology is confusing, to say the least.

Keep Reading Show less
Democracy

Words matter. And they especially matter when we are talking about the safety and well-being of children.

While the #MeToo movement has shed light on sexual assault allegations that have long been swept under the rug, it has also brought to the forefront the language we use when discussing such cases. As a writer, I appreciate the importance of using varied wording, but it's vital we try to remain as accurate as possible in how we describe things.

There can be gray area in some topics, but some phrases being published by the media regarding sexual predation are not gray and need to be nixed completely—not only because they dilute the severity of the crime, but because they are simply inaccurate by definition.

One such phrase is "non-consensual sex with a minor." First of all, non-consensual sex is "rape" no matter who is involved. Second of all, most minors legally cannot consent to sex (the age of consent in the U.S. ranges by state from 16 to 18), so sex with a minor is almost always non-consensual by definition. Call it what it is—child rape or statutory rape, depending on circumstances—not "non-consensual sex."

Keep Reading Show less
Culture