First: Thursday’s congressional swearing-in will reflect the stunning success of the Democrats’ ground game at turning out minorities — a strategy that stretched across Native American reservations, college campuses, Hispanic supermarkets, and crowded urban neighborhoods. Second: The 114th Congress will mirror the greatest (albeit far from adequate) increase in women since 1992, from the current 17 percent to 18.6 percent in both chambers combined. Two independent thoughts? Hardly. Rather than minority turnout and women’s political rise being on parallel tracks, they intersect. And unless Republicans take note, that intersection spells danger for not only our two-party system, but also our democracy. Let’s start with pre-election research and exit polls. In March, when asked whether having more congresswomen would be positive, blacks (59 percent) and Latinos (62 percent) were much more likely than whites (44 percent) to say yes. Among all voters, 47 percent cared deeply about having more female leadership, yet for people under age 30 that number was 54 percent. And, no surprise, women of all races were twice as enthusiastic as men in their parties.


Hunt, Swanee. "For the Sake of Democracy, Elect Women." Boston Globe, January 2, 2013.