We all knew Republicans would take control of the Senate, but American voters had a few surprises up their sleeves. For one, “voters of all persuasions” voted for minimum wage hikes, while marijuana legalization made gains in places like Washington, D.C., and Oregon. And while the GOP’s “war on women” is still alive and well (though, apparently, that phrase has lost a lot of traction) there will be a hundred women in Congress for the first time in U.S. history, thanks to a special election in North Carolina.

There’s much to mourn now that Republicans have taken the majority of seats in Congress: Our country is likely to become more embroiled in conflicts in the Middle East, the Keystone XL pipeline may finally get green-lighted, and women may lose even more rights under conservative rule.

Let us at least take heart at the notion that on Tuesday, in the somewhat anti-climactic words of the BBC, some “progressive causes fared well, too.”

BBC News:

For the first time ever, the number of women able to vote in Congress reached triple figures with Democrat Alma Adams’s victory in a special election for North Carolina’s 12th district.

There were other landmark female candidates, too. Republican Joni Ernst – who boasted of her prowess at castrating pigs in a campaign advert – became the first woman elected statewide to represent Iowa and the first female combat veteran elected to the Senate.

Shelley Moore Capito became West Virginia’s first woman senator, Elise Stefanik of New York became the youngest woman ever elected to Congress and Saira Blair, 18, became the nation’s youngest state legislator. Gina Raimondo became Rhode Island’s first female governor.

All this came despite the fact that the mid-term electorate is, as political analyst Norm Ornstein told the BBC, “older, whiter, maler” than in presidential election years.

Read More.

—Posted by Natasha Hakimi Zapata

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