Here they come! Since their victories in the midterm elections, these newly crowned congresswomen have dominated the airwaves. It will be interesting to witness the impact they will have on Washington – and politics in general – once they take power on January 3. Some strategists are already hinting at the sway these ladies will hold over the 2020 election.
They’re young, they’re female, and they’re clear-eyed about upsetting the apple cart in Washington. Many of their electoral victories were had by skipping the established line, so they’re wired to approach governing in the same rebellious way. And their sizable followings on social media provide them with an imposing arsenal of support that can be converted into raw political power as fast as one can upload an Instagram.
“The freshman class as an aggregate will have more power than the leadership,” says Rep. Ro Khanna, a California Democrat about to start his second term. “The balance of power is shifting in the House. Leadership doesn’t matter nearly as much. Ordinary members of Congress have a much bigger platform. The size of your Twitter following and the size of your external base makes a huge difference.”
Although Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, Pressley, and the rest of the freshmen class of congresswomen have mainly formed a united front, we shouldn’t be surprised when their individual voices stand out – more and more – from the crowd. They represent a diverse electorate that prioritizes issues differently from state to state, city to city and community to community. Besides, homogeneous thinking can be so boring! And these new renegades seem determined to be anything but that.