Chart of the day: How did women fare in the United States midterms?

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Polis was also the first openly gay man elected to Congress in 2008.

A record number of women candidates, more than 270, stood for office in the USA midterm elections.

(5) Cindy Hyde-Smith won a plurality in MS and is heavily favored to win her runoff election to become the first woman ever elected to the US Senate from her state.

In the past few months, Ocasio-Cortez had traveled around the country to places including Kansas and California to stump for other candidates as part of an effort to move the Democratic party further to the political left.

Ocasio-Cortez won the Democratic nomination in an upset primary against longtime incumbent Joe Crowley over the summer.

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Last night, Donna Brazille, a strategist on CNN said a record number of 38 women of color will be serving in Congress (35 Democrats, three Republicans). Meanwhile the Arizona senate race is too close to call, but either Republican or Democrat, the victor will be the state's first woman in the seat.

First Korean-American woman elected to Congress: Republican Young Kim of California won a close race that secures her place as the first Korean-American woman elected as U.S. representative.

Also Massachusetts, Democrat Ayanna Pressley will be the first woman of colour in her state's congressional delegation.

Meanwhile, at 31, Democrat Lauren Underwood also won her race to become a Congresswoman.

In fact, the number of Republican women in Congress, at latest count, will decline in the next session.

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With black candidates in several high-profile races - including gubernatorial candidates Andrew Gillum of Florida and Stacey Abrams in Georgia - voters nationally said by 71-24 percent it's important to elect more racial and ethnic minorities to public office and 44 percent say it's very important.

Most of the women who won were Democrats who helped the party capture a majority in the House.

These new records represent the culmination of a record-setting year for female candidates.

Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar both became America's first Muslim women to sit in the House of Representatives. Tlaib also becomes the first Palestinian-American in Congress and Omar the first Somali-American. As of Wednesday, at least 100 won their House races, easily beating the old record of 84.

Democrat Jennifer Wexton speaks at her election night party after defeating Rep. Barbara Comstock, R-Va., Nov. 6, 2018, in Dulles, Virginia.

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But what will more women in office mean? According to exit polls, they were about evenly split this year, with 50 percent choosing Democrats, compared to 48 percent who chose Republicans.

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