Black candidates are now winning in mostly white districts, opening path to higher office

Black candidates have begun winning more House seats and statewide offices, such as attorney general, in places where most voters are white—a departure from decades in which Black political power was rooted largely in minority communities.

Officials and political analysts say these recent victories could position Black candidates to win the highest statewide offices. There have been only two elected Black governors and six senators since Reconstruction.

The 2018 midterm elections were a landmark in the House. Eight Black candidates, all Democrats, won seats in majority-white or plurality-white districts, some in which 70% to 80% of residents are white, including in New York’s Hudson Valley and the suburbs outside Chicago and Denver. Many benefited from the year’s record voter turnout, which was the highest in a century for midterms and especially helped Democrats in suburbs near big cities.