August 16, 2018
When Democrats broke through barriers to elect Barack Obama to be the 44th U.S. president in 2008, that was only the beginning. Democratic voters selected a diverse array of history-making candidates in primaries across four states on August 14—including nominating a transgender woman for governor of Vermont, Politico reported.
Christine Hallquist, a former energy executive at Vermont Electric Coop, would be the first openly transgender governor in America if she defeats GOP Governor Phil Scott in November. Meanwhile, former high school teacher Jahana Hayes is poised to become the first African-American Democrat to represent Connecticut in Congress after winning her primary in the 5th District; and in Minnesota, Ilhan Omar, a Muslim and a Somali immigrant who had been a state legislator, won the Democratic nomination for the 5th Congressional District.
The night of firsts came as Democrats also hope to rebuild their party in the Midwest, Politico said—especially in Wisconsin, where voters selected state education official Tony Evers to take on two-term Republican Gov. Scott Walker in the fall.
“It’s a classic midterm election where the ‘out’ party has a terrific opportunity to win,” Democratic pollster Paul Maslin told the political news outlet. “That’s what happened the other way in 2010 and 2014. Now it’s our turn. We don’t want to go overboard but I think we are very hopeful of reversing a lot of the Republican gains over the last several cycles.”
According to a poll taken by Gallup in June, the Democratic edge in party affiliation over the GOP has grown to seven percentage points-the largest it has been in over two years. During the late summer and fall of 2016, Democrats averaged a three-point advantage.
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