The midterm elections on Tuesday, November 4 saw the Republicans maintain control of the House of Representatives and overtake Democrats to gain control the Senate. In one of the most hotly contested races of the day, incumbent senator Kay Hagan, a Democrat, lost to Republican Thom Tillis, North Carolina's state speaker of the house, for the spot of junior United States senator.
Every senate seat is important in Tuesday's elections, but this one was especially crucial in what it means for women's issues. Hagan has pushed for women's rights by supporting legislation like the Women's Health Protection Act, which would protect North Carolinians against additional abortion restrictions; the Violence Against Women Act; and the "Not My Bosses' Business" Act which sought to protect women against bosses who would deny health care such as birth control. Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood has referred to Tillis as an "extreme women's health opponent," and other pro-women organizations have expressed similar sentiments.
Hagan was backed by President Obama as well as Hillary Clinton and former president Bill Clinton, so her loss could be an indication of how the public is feeling about these Democratic standard bearers. Results could also indicate that the "war on women" rhetoric is not adequately resonating with female voters.