More Women Elected, More Young People Voted

Record Number of PA Women Headed to Congress

Joe DeStio
November 07, 2018 - 3:13 pm

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PITTSBURGH (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) A record number of women won election in Pennsylvania voting this week. And more young people also turned out to vote. Those are two of the takes from the 2018 midterm elections.

“Pennsylvania hadn’t sent a woman to Congress since 2014 when Allyson Schwartz was the last Congresswoman,” said Pennsylvania Center for Women and Politics Executive Director Dana Brown. “And now in the Commonwealth we’re going from zero to four.”

The new female Congress members are all from the eastern part of the state. They are Susan Wild from the Lehigh Valley, Madeleine Dean from Montgomery County, Mary Gay Scanlon from Delaware County, and Chrissy Houlahan in Chester County.

Brown believes the 1016 election was a prime motivator for women. “We know the day after Trump’s inauguration there were women marching in the streets not just in Pittsburgh and in Washington, DC and in many cities across the nation,” said Brown.

Related: Democrats Seize House Control, But Trump's GOP Holds Senate

Voters in Allegheny County sent a total of six women to the state legislature in Harrisburg to seats that were previously held by man.

It’s not clear what role younger voters may have had in that pink wave. The liberal advocacy group NextGen America targeted college campuses in Pennsylvania and across the country to register younger voters. In Pittsburgh’s  4th ward, 8th precinct, voting among young people increased three fold from the 2014 midterms. But turnout was still just 25 percent. That’s well below the county-wide 57 percent number. 

NextGen State Youth Coordinator Jarret Smith says, “We will bring young people closer and closer to realizing their potential as a voting block, but it will take time.”

ABC News exit polls suggest 18 to 29 year olds made up 13 percent of the electorate in the midterms. That’s up from 11 percent four years ago.

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