Several Democratic candidates won key races in last Tuesday’s elections, including a sweep of top offices while making strong gains in the General Assembly.
Assistant Professor in Bradley’s political science department, Megan Remmel, said the results bode well for female candidates in central Illinois. She said women and minorities helped spur high voter turnout last Tuesday.
“So the political science literature shows that female candidates win as much if not more than male candidates. The problem is getting them to run in the first place,” Remmel explained. “I think last Tuesday could motivate more women to run for state and local office.”
She believes it could start a trend of both parties seeing female candidates as more viable.
Women, specifically African American, turned out in high numbers to Tuesday’s election.
She isn’t sure if we’ll see a similar shakeup of major, local seats as we did in Virginia.
“The Peoria area is pretty divided partisan wise,” Remmel said. “In terms of being in (Congressman) Darn LaHood’s district or (Congresswoman) Cheri Bustos or the state legislative district with (Rep.) Ryan Spain and (Rep.) Jehan Gordon-Booth…I don’t know if Peoria is moving in the ‘purple’ direction we have seen in other places.”
Remmel said a politician’s relationship with President Donald Trump, as it did with previous presidents, impacts the likelihood they will be elected.
Remmel believes the Democrat’s success on Tuesday was, apart from more minorities and women voting, was helped by some Republicans’ inability to connect with their voting base like President Donald Trump.
“Republican candidates didn’t have charisma like Trump,” Remmel explained.
Remmel said Democrats ran more candidates, winning a “decent number of those races.”
Remmel also credited pro-women groups as putting out more candidates to challenge Republican males.