Democrat Michelle Nunn will face either Jack Kingston or David Perdue, two republicans, in the November Georgia Senatorial race.

As midterm elections creep closer, things are not looking good for the Democrats. The Washington Post Election Lab is showing a very high probability of the GOP not only retaining their majority in the House, but also taking back the Senate.

This outcome is typical of an administration’s sixth year in power — the “six-year itch,” as it is called, is the name given to a familiar pattern in which the nation’s frustration toward the President and his party results in a significant loss of congressional seats.

Though the numbers look grim, the flesh and blood elections contain a glimmer of hope. Three of the most competitive and important Senatorial battles (Kentucky, North Carolina and Georgia) feature very strong Democratic contenders, all of whom happen to be women running against Republican men.

Alison Grimes, Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) and Michelle Nunn are all polling within three points of their male competitors, Mitch McConnell, Thom Tillis, and either Jack Kingston or David Perdue, depending on the results of the runoff election, respectively.

Additionally, all three of these women performed spectacularly according to their penultimate fiscal reports, with Grimes raising $4 million, Hagan raising $3.6 million and Nunn raising $3.5 million.

The closeness of these elections during the six-year itch is a testament to this moment of women’s issues. With the recent backlash over the Hobby Lobby case and upswing in the marketability of feminism, gender issues have become hot-button voter priorities.

The outcome of these elections will be very telling — if women’s issues are important enough this time to buck the time-worn pattern, it’ll be clear that this feminist trend is too weighty to be just that — it’ll become an ingrained part of campaign expectations, a crucial part of a candidate’s platform.

A win for these women could mean more than Democratic success. It could mean the endurance of the women’s rights movement.

IMG_5495Kate Riga is a rising sophomore in the College. His and Hers appears every Monday at thehoya.com


  1. Tyler Simpson says:

    I think you have it backwards. The timing of the current “feminist trend” is no coincidence whatsoever. Democrats have chosen to take aim at a voting block they see as both reliable and rile-able: single women. The emphasis on women’s issues that you’ve been seeing in the news and social media is very much a key part of the Democrat’s strategy to try and maintain their hold on the Senate. This strategy worked well for the Obama campaign as election day drew nearer in 2012. Even if it doesn’t work this time around, there’s still one woman in particular who is sure to benefit.

  2. There is no question that the Democrats are courting the women’s vote, but I disagree with T.S. that they are trying to create and then exploit a movement or trend – not on the level of national politics. Women have traditionally been seen as potential backers of the Democrats, but rarely have they controlled the election outcome. If the author’s prediction comes to pass, I agree that it very much means that women’s issues have found a more widespread (and hopefully permanent) acceptance in the national conscience.

  3. Tyler Simpson says:

    The idea is to bring out as many voters as possible, especially since the turnout is expected to be so low. To do this, it is important to focus on issues, whether through political campaigns, proposed legislation, or the media, that the base can get excited about and that shift attention away from areas of weakness. One of these issues is women’s rights, another is labor. The Paycheck Fairness Act, for example, kills two birds with one stone (and a third by fulfilling obligations to trial lawyers). The rise of these issues to the forefront very much has to do with the fact that it is an election year.


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