Nov. 5 UPDATE: The GOP has now added 13 new women to Congress.

8:45 am | Ashley MacLeay: Several wins were secured nationwide by conservative women last night. Senators Joni Ernst (IA), Cindy Hyde-Smith (MS), and Shelley Moore Capito (WV) sailed to victory. Cynthia Lummis (WY) will become the new Senator-Elect and first woman to hold a Senate seat in Wyoming. Currently, Senator Susan Collins is leading in Maine. She was a key vote in electing Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

In the House, Republican women have seen some notable pickups in Minnesota (Michelle Fishbach), New Mexico (Yvette Herrell), South Carolina (Nancy Mace), Oklahoma (Stephanie Bice), and Florida (Kat Cammack). A few Republican women are currently leading, such as Beth Van Dyne in Texas and Lauren Boebert in Colorado, but their races have not been officially called by the Associated Press at this time.

6:23 am | Andi Bottner: Congresswoman Ann Wagner solidly defeated her challenger to retain her seat representing Missouri’s Second Congressional District. The race was supposed to be tight, but Wagner won by over six percentage points.

2:00 am | Cassie Alsfeld: There’s something to be said about “who” turned out and “how” they showed up this election. The “silent majority” is silent no more. And swing voters have swung more to the right than any polls predicted. 

Regardless of the final outcome, it’s time the pollsters, pundits, and politicians listened to what they have to say.

Over the past few days, weeks, and months, we’ve noticed a marked shift among swing voters… and moderate, millennial, and Independent women in general. Their anger over being silenced, shunned, and shamed began to spill over. 

They were fed up with the “Cancel Culture,” “Progressive Privilege,” and “Intolerant Left” infiltrating every aspect of their lives. They were tired of the “thought police” telling them how to speak, think, and act. They were annoyed about having to act like robots, like being forced to get “in line” with the “groupthink mentality.” 

They were sick of having to hide their true feelings… and being judged for their personal choices and beliefs (including motherhood). And they were upset to be unable to freely express their thoughts and beliefs, even among close friends, family, neighbors, colleagues, and significant others… for fear of being fired, defriended, or shamed in society. 

They were frustrated with the double standards, especially when it came to admissible vs. banned actions during shut down (a frequent complaint was why large-scale protests, marches, and riots were acceptable, yet schools, churches, businesses remained closed; weddings and funerals were banned; and so on).

They were upset that diversity was accepted and celebrated, unless it had to do with diversity of thought, particularly conservative female thought. And they were terrified of the incivility and violence in our streets. 

In short, they felt their basic rights and freedoms were being restricted. And they had enough.

As you may know, Independent Women’s Voice champions ALL women. We provide a forum for those who don’t feel represented or respected. We celebrate independent thought. We promote civility and respectful dialogue. And we advance policies that make ALL our lives better. 
No matter the outcome of this election, we won’t stop fighting for you and your right to be heard, respected, and represented. Join us in this effort so no one has to walk alone during this time:

12:00 am | Kelsey Bolar: California voters are signaling their support for Proposition 22, a ballot initiative that would grant relief to app-based drivers such as Uber and Lyft from the state’s Assembly Bill 5, better known as AB5. The ballot initiative would enable app-based drivers to continue working as independent contractors instead of employees. As of midnight, 57% of voters in California said “yes,” with 36% of precincts reporting. 

Proposition 22 came in response to AB5, a notoriously flawed California law that forces many employers to hire self-employed independent contractors as employees with benefits such as healthcare, employment protections and more. 

The American workforce is becoming increasingly flexible with many people now working as freelancers, independent contractors, and gig workers. In a recent poll, 82% of independent contractors said they prefer being independent contractors over being W-2 employees.

In August, the California legislature approved Assembly Bill 2257, which granted occupations including photographers, translators, and musicians exemptions from AB5, allowing them to continue operating as independent contractors. Proposition 22 would add Uber, Lyft and other app-based drivers to that exemption list. 

While Proposition 22 is a step in the right direction, thousands of independent workers in California are still subjected to the unworkable confines of AB5. 

Granting special exemptions to those with big microphones or deep pockets isn’t enough. AB5 is a fundamentally flawed law and if it’s bad for some, it’s bad for all. To learn more about the devastating impact AB5 is having on self-employed workers in California, read our stories here.

11:50 pm | Andi Bottner:  Republican Senator Joni Ernst is the projected winner in her Senate re-election campaign against challenger, Democrat Theresa Greenfield. This was arguably one of the most closely watched Senate races. Senator Ernst is the first woman to serve in federal elected office from Iowa and the first female combat veteran elected to serve in the U.S. Senate. As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Ernst had to spend precious time in Washington and not on the Iowa campaign trail, during the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett. It appears Iowans agreed with her priorities.

11:33 pm | Hadley Heath Manning: Checking in on another ballot initiative: Florida’s voters have elected to increase the state’s minimum wage to $10 in September 2021, with automatic increases by $1 until 2026 when the minimum wage reaches $15. This is Amendment 2 on this year’s ballot, and it is passing with about 61 percent support. While minimum wage increases sound appealing because we all want our friends and neighbors to earn more money, they come with a serious downside: They cost jobs. Importantly, the real minimum wage is always $0, because that’s how much you make if you lose your job.

11:00 pm | Cassie Alsfeld: The expectation game is one of the most critical components of an election. One of the worst things you can do in politics is fall short of expectations. 

Joe Biden is underperforming in areas he was expected to win. He is underperforming among demographics he was expected to win. And it’s looking like he will fall short of grabbing the swing voters he was expected, and needed, to win.

There’s something to be said about enthusiasm. You can’t fake it. You can only make it.

The media, Hollywood, Blue Checkmark brigade, and more glorified Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and the left, putting them on a pedestal, the likes of which we haven’t seen since Hillary Clinton in 2016. 

They yet again made the mistake of presuming they will win. And there’s nothing that the American people hate more than being told what and how to think, speak, vote, believe, and act. 

Women and swing voters, in particular, value this freedom and their independent thought above all. We have seen it time and time again in our work at Independent Women’s Forum and Independent Women’s Voice. 
That’s why we give female voters a forum to think and speak freely, and we champion them along the way. Learn more about and join us in our Champion Women movement:

10:55 pm | Elizabeth Tew: Rep. Bruce Westerman wins reelection in Arizona’s 4th Congressional District. Rep. Westerman was an early signer of the Patient Protection Pledge, which was designed to let constituents know the lawmakers and candidates who are committed to supporting any bill that would require upfront, genuine healthcare price transparency. This will be his fourth term. The congressman ran on a platform of reforming the American healthcare system to bring more transparency and lower costs to patients.

10:45 pm | Inez Stepman: Regardless of the outcome, what’s clear is this is a yet another blow to a gatekeeper institution: polling. Swing states coming down to the wire, while polls were showing Biden with decisive leads in nearly all of them prior to tonight. The real crisis in American life right now is an elite of technology companies, pollsters, journalists, and experts who refuse to examine exactly why they’re losing trust and support from a wide swath of the American public. Institutional trust is critical to rebuilding trust and reducing polarization in America, but it can’t be done unless institutions examine why they lost that trust in the first place.

10:40 pm  | Cassie Alsfeld: “They” say the first step toward recovery is admitting that you have a problem. There is a complete disconnect between the media… and the public. And it’s as clear as day this election.

Brett Baier noted, “The President and his supporters feel(ing) like he was not running only against Joe Biden… He was running against the media as well.” 

The mainstream media, Blue Checkmark brigade, Hollywood and coastal elites, big business, social media giants, and more gave near-endless positive coverage of Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and Democrats in general, while shaming and degrading anyone who doesn’t fit the “mold.” 

Heck, the mainstream media and social media giants even went so far as to selectively censor information they didn’t want the American public to see, the latest slap in the face to voters who can think and speak (and vote) for themselves.

What they’re missing is: the majority of Americans don’t trust the mainstream media. Too many Americans have been silenced and shamed about speaking, tweeting, even just having their own thoughts and beliefs. 

What we are about to see is an explosion of anger and frustration, as Americans took their disapproval of this PC/Cancel Culture to the privacy of the polls. 

This looks like it’s going to be a rude awakening for the mainstream media. Or… it’s a replay of 2016.

10:35 pm | Cassie Alsfeld: The media has a credibility problem, and it’s starting to show. Just look at the numbers so far. 

Too many neck-and-neck races to count. And if you’ve been watching the “horse race” the past few weeks and months, that “wasn’t” supposed to happen. 

As Tucker Carlson said, “We have a huge problem in our business with being cut off from the country we cover. And I would say a lot of power centers in this country have that problem, but we have it in the media… we’re moving toward zero credibility.”

Finally, as the results roll in, we are seeing some sort of awakening, some sort of awareness, from the media. Well, from Fox at least.

10:30pm | Kelsey Bolar: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez has been reelected to the U.S. House of Representatives for New York’s 14th Congressional District. The most prominent member of “The Squad,” Ocasio-Cortez has championed policies including the Green New Deal, Medicare for All, open borders, abolishing ICE, tuition-free college and a federal ban on assault weapons.

Fellow “Squad” members Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Democrat from Minnesota, and Rep. Ayanna Pressley, a Democrat from Massachusetts, also solidified their House seats tonight. With Democrats projected to maintain control of the House of Representatives, we can expect “the Squad” to grow louder and more prominent in their calls to implement the far-left policies they endorse.

10:30 pm | Hadley Heath Manning: Hello from Mountain Time! Colorado has about 75 percent reporting, so I thought I’d share some updates. First, the Senate race here in the Centennial State has been called for former governor John Hickenlooper. And the state has been called for Biden in the presidential race. No surprises there, given the polling. Colorado was once a purple state, but Gardner’s loss means there are now no Republicans holding statewide office. 

The real evidence of Colorado becoming more progressive is in the ballot measures. This state is big on direct democracy, and we had ballot measures on the National Popular Vote Compact (which is an end run around the Electoral College), a new paid family and medical leave entitlement, and several ballot questions related to taxes. Right now, it looks likely that the measures to give Colorado’s electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote and to create a new family leave program will pass. Check out IWF’s resources on the Electoral College here and here, and an article I wrote on the family leave proposal here. On the bright side, a reduction to the state income tax looks likely to pass, which is good… taxpayers like me are going to need a break when we get hit with a new payroll tax to fund the family and medical leave program. 

10:25 pm | Patrice Onwuka: Control of the Senate may not be decided tonight or for sometime. Currently, conservatives control the Senate 53-47, but some 35 seats are up for election. Colorado’s Republican Senator Cory Gardner just lost his seat and is the first flip, but Georgia’s two Senate seats are both in play and unless a candidate garners 50% of the vote, there will be a runoff election in January. Louisiana faces a similar runoff situation in December. Bottom line, we’ll need to be patient but the implications are massive: the Senate has been a legislative stop-gap against far-left policies passed by the House of Representatives from the Green New Deal to a $15 minimum wage and it has confirmed 3 Supreme Court justice laws under President Trump. Buckle up, the ride is not over yet.

10:10 pm | Kelsey Bolar: Sen. Lindsey Graham, the Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which oversaw the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett, won his reelection by defeating Democratic challenger Jaime Harrison. Democrats poured an astounding $100 million behind Harrison, who stoked racial tensions by questioning whether Barrett would “roll back the civil rights of folks,” saying, “I don’t look good in chains, so I’m not going back to that.” Graham was among the most ardent defenders of Justices Amy Coney Barrett and Brett Kavanaugh. In addition to reelecting Graham, South Carolina went for President Trump, showing that the state stands behind Barrett’s nomination.

10:00 pm | Patrice Onwuka: Top issues for voters by rank according to CNN exit poll: 1. Economy (34%). 2. Racial equality (21%). 3. Coronavirus (18%). 4. Crime/public safety (11%). 5. Health care issues (11%). How far the electorate is from 2018 when healthcare was such a pressing issue in light of the ACA repeal efforts. President Trump still outperforms Joe Biden on the economy. When we consider 33.1% growth in Q3, we’ll see if voters trust him to keep the momentum going.

10:00pm | Elizabeth Tew: Rep. Ralph Norman wins reelection to South Carolina’s 5th Congressional District. Rep. Norman is a signer of the Patient Protection Pledge, and has promised to put patients over special interests and support genuine healthcare price transparency legislation. 

10:00 pm | Inez Stepman: No matter what happens tonight, the corresponding upticks for Joe Biden in the suburbs and Donald Trump among voters of color, showing themselves in multiple states, are a rebuke to the woke “critical race theory” view of the world. Voters are looking at policies and the personalities of the candidates, rather than voting by identity group.

9:46 pm | Victoria Coley: Several key ballot measures in Colorado that we’re tracking. Proposition 113 on the National Popular Vote. So far reporting:

IWV has two important quizzes addressing key misperceptions on the National Popular Vote and the Electoral College: 1) What Do You Know About The Electoral College? 2) Is The Electoral College Fair?. We’ll continue to keep a close eye on this measure.

9:40 pm | Victoria Coley: Big win tonight for Marjorie Taylor Green on her election to the U.S. Congress representing GA-14. Green was an early signer of the Independent Women’s Voice’s Patient Protection Pledge. Green understands that we would never buy anything without knowing how much it is going to cost upfront. And, prices in health care should work the same way. Patients should be able to plan ahead for how to pay and shop among providers. Patients should make informed, value-driven decisions about our care. And patients should know what their out-of-pocket costs will be, as well as what costs, markups, discounts, and payments others pay on our behalf. Hoping Green is a champion for patient-centered health care when she gets to Washington.

9:32 pm | Elizabeth Tew: Kat Cammack wins election in Florida’s 3rd Congressional District. At 32 years old, congresswoman-elect Cammack will be the youngest republican woman serving in Congress. She is a signer of the Patient Protection Pledge, which was designed to let constituents know the lawmakers and candidates committed to supporting any bill that would require upfront, genuine healthcare price transparency.

9:30 pm | Elizabeth Tew: Rep. Michael Burgess wins reelection in Texas’s 26th Congressional District. Rep. Burgess was an early signer of the Patient Protection Pledge and has promised to stand with patients and their right to know the cost of healthcare procedures, providers, and services upfront.

9:17 pm | Andi Bottner: Former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper defeated Senator Cory Gardner in one of the most watched Senate races. Colorado’s blue trend continues.

8:00 pm | Kelsey Bolar: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell solidified his U.S. Senate seat in Kentucky, edging out Democrat challenger Amy McGrath, who had a staggering $73 million war chest. McConnell has helped to transform the federal judiciary during the Trump presidency, including the confirmation of three U.S. Supreme Court justices. Most recently, McConnell filled the vacancy left by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with Justice Amy Coney Barrett, a move that critics claimed would hurt Republican’s 2020 reelection efforts. While it’s too early to realize the full implications of Barrett’s confirmation, it’s clear that voters in Kentucky supported McConnell’s decision to nominate and confirm a strong female to the U.S. Supreme Court. Nationally, more than half the country supported Barrett’s nomination.

7:45 pm | Andi Bottner: Senator Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia was just declared the winner by the AP in her reelection race. She has been a long-time advocate for rural health care initiatives. She also recognizes the battle being fought by West Virginians against opioid abuse.

7:30 pm | Inez Stepman: Virginia called for Democrats basically the second polls close, highlighting the very real exodus of suburban women from the Trump Republican Party. On the flip side, Miami-Dade County, usually a big source of Democratic votes in Florida, is almost neck-and-neck for Trump, potentially as the result of the President’s inroads with Hispanic voters in the state.

5:33 pm | Andi Bottner: Republican Congresswoman Ann Wagner, a friend to victims of sex trafficking and sexual assault, is fighting a close battle for re-election in Missouri’s Second District.  Democratic State Senator Jill Schupp has made this race a nail-biter.  This is a battle between two suburban women and no doubt suburban women voters will make the call.  Stay tuned. . .