The Key Takeaways From the American Election

Equality

Written by: Kelly Fisher

18.11.2020

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Photo by Gage Skidmore

You have probably been overloaded with news about the election in recent days.  That’s why we put together this list here of our key takeaways to cut through the noise, and to see what has been catching our teams’ eye from the election. 

Election day suddenly turned into election week in the U.S., and I’ll admit, I refreshed CNN more than I want to admit.  You might have tuned out after several long days of staring at election maps, which no one can be blamed for.  But the election in the United States has been important, and precedent setting in many different ways.   

1: Kamala Harris to be First Female VP 

This is historical, and we could say it a hundred more times for the people in the back.  Not only will Kamala be the first woman to serve as a Vice-President, but as a woman of color, this achievement is a first for many reasons.  She has risen higher in the U.S. than any woman before.   This is especially fitting considering that this would happen one hundred years after women won voting rights in the United States.  Kamala paid tribute to this legacy when delivering a speech the night the election was called, both by wearing white, a symbol of the suffragette movement, and also in her speech:  

“All the women who have worked to secure and protect the right to vote for over a century: one hundred years ago with the 19th Amendment, fifty-five years ago with the Voting Rights Act, and now, in 2020, with a new generation of women in our country who cast their ballots and continued the fight for their fundamental right to vote and be heard.” 

2: More Women Elected to Congress Than Ever Before

The House of Representatives in 2020 will have more women than ever before in history.  The previous record for women in the House of Representatives was previously set in 2018, where there were 127 women, and while some races are still too close to call, that number is now up to at least 135 women in Congress.  The House of Representatives is made up of 435 people, which means that women are still far short of 50/50 representation.  However, within this recent wave of women elected, there are other exciting achievements that deserve to be highlighted.   

3: An Election of Firsts for Many Women

There were many new milestones crossed with women entering political office in 2020.  We just highlighted a few here, but you can check out this article for a larger comprehensive overview.   

Cori Bush will be the first black woman to serve as a representative from the State of Mississippi 

A record number of Republican Women have been elected to the House of Representatives, where there will be at least thirty-two.   

All three of New Mexico’s Representatives will be women of color, making it the first state in history to do this. 

Photo by Gage Skidmore

4: Did Women Reject Trump at the Ballots?  Doesn’t Look Like It.   

One of the main questions and narratives that drove the 2020 election was will women reject Trump at the polls in 2020?  While voter demographic information is still coming in, initial findings seem to show that about half of white women voted for Trump in 2020, similar to 2016.  Race here also plays an important factor.  Women in other racial groups voted similarly to 2016, with about 90% of black women and 70% of latinx women voting democratic.   

5: Georgia Goes Blue: You Can Thank Stacy Abrams For That.   

Biden won Georgia, a traditionally very Republican state, shocking many Americans.  This was one of the biggest surprise developments in 2020 where Georgia became a competitive State, and one that in the end delivered for Joe Biden.  For those who have been paying close attention to politics in the U.S., you might be familiar with the name Stacy Abrams.  Abrams, a black woman, ran as a democrat in Georgia’s governor race in 2018, providing a close election which few had expected.  After her defeat she poured her energy into registering voters in hopes of flipping Georgia blue in 2020.  She helped to register 800,000 new voters for 2020, and in a race that was decided by only a few thousand, Abrams is rightfully drawing some credit for Georgia’s democratic flip. •