The wave of female candidates running for Congress in the 2018 midterm elections is expected to cause many upsets; in particular due to Democratic women dominating the race.
The US midterms are witnessing a new empowerment movement as more women contest US midterm elections than ever.
In numbers, around 23 women are running for Senate and a whopping 237 women are running for the 435 House seats. And statewide, at least 16 women are contesting gubernatorial elections.
The Democrats are in the lead with 185 women vying for the House and 15 for Senate.
If these candidates prove to be successful, the House will likely see a new record of the number of women serving simultaneously; 137 women currently hold seats.
A close look explains, there is more at stake than just strength in numbers.
The election could see a former refugee woman elected to the US Congress and the first black woman to serve as governor.
Early voter turnout in the midterm elections shows more Americans have already voted compared to the law numbers of previous years. On the first day of the early voting, turnout was triple to that of 2014.
Midterm elections occur every four years, halfway between presidential elections.
Here is a look at four female candidates whose victory could change US politics as we know it.
The 29-year-old Democrat and a socialist from New York is running for the city’s 14th congressional district. She defeated Republican Joe Crowley who served the district since 2013.
She is a first-time candidate who worked for late Senator Ted Kennedy's foreign affairs and immigration constituent's office. But she had to go back to waitressing after her studies. If she wins in November, she will become the youngest woman in Congress.
A Bronx girl herself, she wants to fight for the families of Bronx and Queens, saying that “working families shouldn’t have to struggle.”
A supporter of Medicare for all, she believes “housing is a right” and vows to take action for gun control, supporting common-sense gun legislation.
Ocasio-Cortez has spoken about abolishing ICE and uniting families as well as creating a federal jobs guarantee program.
She faced wide criticism by conservatives and Republicans who say her congressional understanding and know-how is weak and she gets things wrong.
The Palestinian-American, born in Detroit, seeks to represent Michigan’s 13th congressional district and could become the first Muslim woman elected to Congress.
Tlaib won against Brenda Jones, Detroit City Council’s president after long-time Representative John Conyers Jr stepped down due to sexual harassment allegations by several women who worked with him.
A daughter of Palestinian immigrants, Tlaib served in the Michigan state house from 2009 to 2014 and is running because she “gets results” and will fight “back against the Trump agenda that puts corporate profits and serving the rich over the needs of the rest of us.”
She has previously stated that she decided to run due to the rise in attacks against Muslim women since US President Trump took office.
Tlaib wants to expand US civil rights protections to cover discriminatory impacts in addition to discriminatory intent.
In October, she was arrested in a wage rally for fast food workers in Detroit.
Ilhan Omar, the first Somali-American legislator in the US, is running for Minnesota's 5th congressional district. She supports free college education, housing for all, and criminal justice reform.
Her personal identity has played a big role in her campaign.
Omar fled her native country's civil war at the age of eight and later immigrated with her family to the US.
She was inspired by politics early on in life, while accompanying her grandfather to participate in his first-ever electoral vote.
Omar was met with accusations that she married her brother and committed immigration fraud. She denounced the allegations as “disgusting lies,” and says allegations of campaign finance violations are politically motivated.
In 2016, the 36-year-old won an uncontested seat in the legislature of her Midwestern home state, where there is a sizable Somali population.
If she wins, she replaces Keith Ellison, who was the first Muslim elected to Congress in 2006. He gave up his seat to run for the state's attorney general's office.
Republican Marsha Blackburn running for Senate in Tennessee is leading the race against Democrat Phil Bredesen.
She is Tennessee’s first Republican woman nominated for US Senate and the state’s first woman in four decades to be nominated by a major party for the Senate.
If Blackburn wins, she will replace retiring US Senator Bob Corker, a Chattanooga Republican, and become the state’s first female senator.
Blackburn runs a pro-Trump campaign and has sided with the president on immigration issues.
In her website, she favours “securing” the US border as well as “building the wall and stopping the caravan,” referring the caravan of Central American migrants on its way to the US-Mexico border.