Below the Fold: Indisputable Firsts from the 2018 Midterm Election

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Depending on what news you watch, read or listen to, it may be hard to know what to conclude about Tuesday’s results. Was it a Blue Wave since Democrats took back the house?

Was it a win for Trump because the Senate picked up more Republican seats? Was it a loss for democracy in general since thousands of people waited for hours to vote, polling places ran out of ballots and there were widespread scanner malfunctions?

Yes, the answer to that last one is yes.

With this many races, ballot measures and varied results, it’s easy for any pundit to verbally jiu jitsu their take on what the outcomes say about the country. Hell, it’s even easy for the same news outlet to take a different spin on the same results. Just look at how the Wall Street Journal covered Obama losing the house, to the wall street journal covering trump losing the house.

But there were some objective truths from Tuesday – and those truths are that there were a whole bunch of “firsts”. So for your Friday feels, here’s a list of some of those firsts:

It’s the first time over 100 women have elected to the US Congress – the previous record? 85.

It’s the first time Connecticut and Massachusetts elected a black woman to Congress.

It’s the first time a Korean American woman has been elected to Congress.

It’s the first time a 29-year-old woman has been elected to Congress – and there’s two of them.

It’s the first time a Native American woman has been elected to Congress – and there’s two of them. One of whom is also only the second openly lesbian congresswoman to be elected, after Tammy Baldwin, who also won her senate seat again on Tuesday.

It’s the first time a Muslim woman has been elected to Congress – and there’s two of them. One of whom will also be the first refugee and the first woman to wear a hijab in Congress.

It’s the First time Texas elected a Latina congresswoman — and there’s two of them.

One way or another, Arizona is getting its first woman Senator. There’s also two of them but only one is actually gonna get elected. It’s just still too close to call.

Iowa and South Dakota both elected their first woman governor.

Colorado elected the nation’s first openly gay governor – he is also Jewish!

And where was also a huge jump in a very special kind of first? I’m talking about first time. Not that kind of first time though.

I’m referencing – of the record-breaking 114 million ballots cast this week, 17% of them were first-time voters. To put that in content, in 2010, only 3% of the 91 million ballots cast were first-time voters.

So – Tuesday can be seen as a mixed bag of wins and losses depending on how you spin it. But there is no spin on these wins – thousands of people, some for the first time, voted across the country, in red and blue states alike, for candidates who break the mold of what our leaders have typically looked like. And subsequently, opened up the gate that much wider, or cracked the ceiling that much more, I don’t know, some other metaphor for breaking down barriers, for diversity and for more accurate representation in government. And no pundit can twist that.

Finally – with 118 women in Congress and 9 women Governors, you gotta assume that Mattel is spending the next fiscal quarter working up more diverse politician barbies, right?

I’m Kristin Brey and thanks for watching below the fold. Don’t forget to like, comment and share this video. Check out more at www.belowthefold.co

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