A Note from the Editors
Midterm elections in the United States have historically failed to inspire much interest. This year, something has changed. The number of women running for office—not to mention the number favored to win—is at an historic high. Not only that, but the representation of diverse and intersectional candidates is unprecedented. So what’s different? Women all over the country are mobilizing—as candidates, organizers, voters and donors—in response to a growing sense that in order to see their interests represented in government, more women will have to be elected to office. Even should all of the women running this year win, we’ll still be a long way from gender parity. But what recent events have made clear is that it’s up to us to reshape popular conceptions about influence and representation in American politics. And we think we’re up to the challenge.
Are the days of minimizing difference over? In the past we have seen female candidates conform to a political playbook previously established by male politicians. But in this election cycle, an increasing number of women are putting their norm-breaking qualities and personal stories at the forefront of their campaigns. And it seems to be working.
In addition to the record-breaking number of women running for office this year, there is an unprecedented representation of diverse and intersectional candidates on the ballot. Take a look at some of the candidates who could make history.
In no other sphere is Americans’ ambivalence about ambitious women more fraught—or so clearly on display—than on the campaign trail. Jo Piazza’s fun and thought-provoking novel draws from 100+ interviews with real-life campaign insiders to give us a peek into the interior lives of women running for office.
One of the most inspiring victories in the primary elections occurred in New York’s 14th Congressional district, where 28-year old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez upset a powerful 10-term incumbent. How did a political novice from the South Bronx come to represent the movement that has defined this year’s midterm elections?