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8 November, 2018 01:45:44 AM

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US midterms 2018 break records

BBC, London
US midterms 2018 break records

This year's crucial mid-term elections were always likely to make history.

More women and LGBT people ran than ever before and, with a polarising president in the White House, many predicted voters would head to the polls in their droves.

While the headline remains that the Democrats won the House and the Republicans held the Senate, these elections will be remembered for a host of different reasons.

So here are just some of the records that were broken and some of the winners who sealed their place in history...

This was how the elections were being billed by some, a reference to the 1992 mid-terms in which the number of women in Congress doubled.

And it appears to have come true. The number of women in both chambers before Tuesday - 107 - is now close to being passed.

A record number of women have already been elected to the House, with some districts still to be counted.

Hillary Clinton's surprise defeat to President Donald Trump two years ago, a man who has a history of making sexist remarks, appears to have been a galvanising moment for American women.

The new intake heading to Washington includes a number of historic firsts.

Such as...

Last year, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was mixing cocktails at a restaurant in New York City.

Now, the 29-year-old will swap the tequila and taco bar for the grandeur of the Capitol building after becoming the youngest woman ever elected to Congress.

Ms Ocasio-Cortez, a former Bernie Sanders volunteer who led a progressive campaign, stormed to victory with more than 78% of the vote in New York's 13th district.

"We have made history tonight," she told cheering supporters after the result was confirmed.

Meanwhile, more than 1,000 miles (1600km) away in the state of Iowa, Abby Finkenauer had also joined the ranks of the nation's youngest representatives.

Ms Finkenauer, 29, won a close race in Iowa's first district and will unseat Republican Rod Blum.

Elsewhere, two women from distant states made history together.

In Kansas, Sharice Davids defeated a long-time Republican incumbent while, in New Mexico, Debra Haaland cruised to a landslide victory in the state's first district.

The two Democrats are the first Native American women to be elected to Congress.

Ms Davids is a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation and a former mixed martial arts fighter who was raised by a single mother.

Democrats Rashida Tlaib in Michigan and Ilhan Omar in Minnesota became the first female Muslim representatives. Ms Omar fled Somalia's civil war with her parents at the age of eight and spent four years at a refugee camp in Kenya before coming to the US.

"It is up to us to fulfil the promise of America," she told supporters after her win.

"Let's get to the business of dancing and celebrating," she added. "We're going to Washington!"

These elections broke records for early voting, leading experts to predict that turnout could be exceptionally high.

We won't know the official numbers for several days, but some exit polls showed that it had soared when compared to 2014.

The New York Times estimates that 114 million votes were cast compared to 83 million four years ago.

Our reporters witnessed long queues at polling stations across the country and also say turnout appeared to be high.

The amount spent on campaigns during this election cycle broke all previous records, experts say.

EA

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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