Tuesday's elections indicate shift in voter preferences across state, party lines
WASHINGTON (SBG) - You may be able to throw the phrase "politics as usual" out the window after Tuesday night's primaries in several states around the country. There's a recent wave of new candidates trying to take over congressional and state offices -- and so far, having success.
Women, minorities and first-time candidates are breaking political ground like never before. According to Axios, at least 199 women have won primaries in House races alone.
Two states, Wisconsin and Minnesota, will have female Senate candidates on the ballots for both parties.
In Vermont, Christine Hallquist is the first openly transgender candidate in the country to be a major party nominee for governor.
In Connecticut, Jahana Hayes could be the first black woman elected to Congress there.
And a win for Ilhan Omar in Minnesota was a big step to becoming the first Somali-American representative.
Gary Nordlinger, of George Washington University's Graduate School of Political Management, credits the changes to two people who are polar opposites.
"Bernie Sanders, energizing a constituency in the Democratic Party for better or worse," Nordlinger explained. "And then Donald Trump. Starting from that women’s march the weekend after his inauguration, there’s been a constituency that’s been motivated and excited ... probably unlike anything I've seen since the Vietnam era.”
Democrats aren't the only ones rallying around newcomers. Brian Steil, who in his words has "never run for anything before," is on the ballot to replace House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis.
"People want change," Nordlinger reiterated. "Democrats want change, Republicans want change. They’re fed up. It’s the same reason Donald Trump is in the White House -- they’re fed up.”