In addition to the outpouring of pride for Obama’s win in the 2012 presidential election, Americans all over the country continue to celebrate other milestones made during this heated and very expensive race — chief among them various achievements made by women.
First and foremost, women turned out in record numbers to vote (53 percent of voters) — and 55 percent of those female voters voted for Obama. One of those voters was Kelly Clarkson, a self-avowed “Obama girl,” who told MTV News on Monday that women’s rights were a major reason she backed the president.
“I’m not really down with Mitt Romney’s ideals for throwing women back to the ’50s,” she told MTV News. “I’m for gay rights. I’m for anyone’s rights. I’m for gay rights, heterosexual rights, purple people’s rights.”
That high female voter turnout also helped send a record number of women into office. According to the Chicago Tribune, at least 81 women won seats in the House of Representatives, and CNN reports that 11 women won seats in the U.S. Senate. A record number of women (18) ran for the Senate, an increase of four from the previous record set in 2010. The record of women running for the House of Representatives was also broken, with 166 women running compared to the past high mark of 141 in 2004.From Barack to Beyoncé, voters shared all through social media on Election Day.
The Women’s Media Center attributes part of that increase in female candidates to the efforts of women’s groups “who formed a bipartisan effort more than a year ago to recruit and groom more women to run for office this year.”
The result — however it was achieved — is the definition of progressive and good news for anyone who values equal rights. A few of the significant victories Tuesday night include Democrat Maggie Hassan’s win of the New Hampshire governorship, which makes for an all-female roster in the state’s top political posts; Elizabeth Warren’s defeat of GOP incumbent Senator Scott Brown in Massachusetts; and Wisconsin’s election of its first-ever openly gay senator, Tammy Baldwin, which, along with Maine, Maryland and Washington’s passage of gay marriage, received an outpouring of support from celebs like Lady Gaga, Adam Lambert and Kelly Clarkson.
Stick with MTV News for post-election analysis and reports from Chicago, Boston and New York. Share your voting stories by tweeting @MTVNews with the hashtags #GoVote or #IVoted!