While Massachusetts elected its first-ever female senator, New Hampshire reached a more dramatic milestone, becoming the first state to elect an entirely female congressional delegation. Granite State voters restored Democrat Carol Shea-Porter to the House seat she lost in 2010 and chose Democrat Ann McLane Kuster in the state’s other House district. (The state’s US senators, Democrat Jeanne Shaheen and Republican Kelly Ayotte, weren’t up for reelection.) Meanwhile, former state senator Maggie Hassan was elected governor by a comfortable margin.
These votes may say less about New Hampshire’s views on women than about the consequences of having strong female candidates in the political pipeline. Individual races were won and lost on individual grounds, amid common concerns about fiscal issues and the excesses of Tea Party conservatism. But for both parties, the lesson is clear: The more women who run for office, the more are likely to win.