Diversity’s Success in Midterm Election


In the 2018 United States midterm elections, the Democratic Party have regained control of the House of Representative after they lost it eight years ago. However, the Republican Party extended their authority in the Senate by gaining an additional two seats. The result of the election shows that the Democrats will now have the bargaining power to counter some of President Trump’s controversial proposals such as the immigration policies and constructing a wall on the Mexican border.

Neither side has gained an absolute advantage in the midterm election, but it is undoubtedly a great success in diversifying American politics. The 2018 midterm elections have marked significant accomplishments for women, LGBT, and minority ethnic candidates. More than 117 female representatives have claimed a seat in Congress, which has surpassed the previous record of 107 representatives.

For minority communities in the USA there has some notable successes: For the first time in the nation’s history, Sharice Davids and Deb Haaland will become the first Native American female representatives in Congress while Davids is also the first openly LGBT person to represent the state of Kansas. Davids, who completed a year as a White House Fellow in Washington during the Obama-Trump transition, claims, “I know that now is the time to take action for our community and for our nation.”

A one time Somali refugee and the daughter of Palestinian immigrants, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib made history by becoming the first two Muslim women in U.S Congress. Omar, who is the first Somali American to win a seat in Congress, opposes Trump’s restrictive immigration policies and supports a universal health care system.

In Massachusetts and Connecticut, Ayanna Pressley and Jahana Hayes are the first African American women to represent their states in Congress. At the same time, Lauren Underwood from the Democratic Party has won in a traditionally Republican district in Illinois, making her the youngest African American female representative in Congress. On the state governor’s side, Jared Polis has become the first openly LGBT person to be elected governor in the U.S, in the state of Colorado.

The U.S midterm election of 2018 initiated many first steps in the nation for female, LGBT, and candidates from minority backgrounds in American politics. With a more diversify politicians now representing in Congress, we can look forward to the modifications they would bring to American politics and their communities.

Marvin Kwang