VC investors and startup founders see hope in the red wave that wasn’t


Janna Meyrowitz Turner’s The biggest concern in the US midterm elections was that more than half of US voters had an election denier on their ballots.

She was quite nervous, alongside pundits and polls expecting a red wave, a conservative buzz that would conquer Congress, state legislators and city halls. That didn’t happen.

Instead, many candidates backed by Donald Trump failed to rally voters. Pro-abortion, anti-slavery and pro-marijuana proposals were passed while a young and diverse group of politicians were elected at the federal, state and local levels. The red terror was smothered. For now at least.

“Overall, these candidates have lost and will continue to lose,” Turner, the founder of Synastry Capital and co-founder of the Coalition VCs for Repro, told TBEN. “Despite the deliberate barriers to prevent black, brown, young and new Americans from voting, these people came in record numbers, meaning our government will begin to better reflect our citizens.”

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Overall, the Democrats fared better than expected and are predicted to retain control of the Senate while Republicans prefer to take control of the House. TBEN ran a vibe check with investors and founders to gauge how they’re feeling as the results continue to trickle in. Many were pleased with the progress made, while others spoke of the issues they want to tackle next as calls mount for progressive investors to speak out.

“Democracy was the real winner last night, and that’s the basis of everything.” Jana Meyrowitz Turner, investor, Synastry Capital

Of course, an issue everyone was thinking about was abortion.

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Voters in many states have had to vote on abortion-related proposals since the fall of Roe v. Wade left such decisions in the hands of states. Shortly before the midterm elections, more than 100 VC companies came together to create VCs for Repro, a coalition that brings together investors to vote for reproductive health and use more of their socio-cultural power for change.

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The results of the vote show that VCs to Repro’s cries were part of a larger call to protect reproductive autonomy. Kentucky voted against amending the state’s constitution to say there was no right to abortion; Vermont, Michigan and California voted to make reproductive freedom a constitutional right. Turner noted that experts and polls drastically underestimate how much Americans support abortion. If it wasn’t clear then, it is now.