The 2018 Midterms Explained
HISTORICALLY, MIDTERMS HAVE GOTTEN
LITTLE INTEREST — NOT THIS YEAR.
Republicans are determined to hold their lock on power.
Democrats are determined to break it. Independents could go either way.
Progressives want a new agenda.

WHAT WILL VOTERS DO?
Winston-Churchill-With-Cigar3.jpg

“The best argument against democracy is a 5 minute conversation with the average voter.”

--Sir Winston Churchill, Prime Minister United Kingdom, 1940-45 & 1951-55.

THE NEW FACTORS IN 2018

A huge number of new candidates are running for the first time  BUT can they win votes?
1/3rd of all eligible voters are 18 - 34 years old  BUT will they show up?
45% of voters did not vote in November 2016  BUT will they vote this election?
FIRST TIME CANDIDATES

A record number of Americans are throwing their hat in the ring and running for office. 
What makes them run?  
First time candidate Laurie Pohutsky tells us why she's running and what she's learned about voters in the 2018 midterm elections.

+ FIRST TIME CANDIDATE DATA

More women are running
and most are Democrats

More LGBTQ

THEIR CHANCES?

WHAT THE PRIMARIES TELL US

Primaries can be a predictor of election results.... but not always.

+ WHAT THE PRIMARIES TELL US, PRIMARY BY PRIMARY


March 6 - Texas
Progressive & Centrists Democrats square off in a largely Red State

March 20th - Illinois
More Dems run but fewer Progressives win; Repubs hold half the seats in this blue state

May 8th - Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio, W Virginia
Women make inroads, Republicans remain loyal to Trump, Ohio stays mainstream

May 15th - Idaho, Nebraska, Oregon, Pennsylvania
Women steam on, Progressives take some wins, Republican incumbents keep their place on the ballot

May 22nd - Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky
Republicans dominate, Dems go centrist and put more women on the ballot

June 5th - California, Alabama, Mississippi, Iowa, Montana, South Dakota, New Jersey, New Mexico
Democrats are winning, Progressives are not

June 12th - Nevada, Maine, Virginia, South Carolina, North Dakota
Democratic women advance, Republicans better not cross Trump

June 26th - Colorado, New York, Maryland
Progressive Dems make inroads, Trump influences Republican voters but not all

August 7 - Michigan, Kansas, Missouri, Washington + Ohio special election
Establishment Dems prevail over Progressives, Women advance, Republicans hold the line but with thinner margins

August 28 - Arizona & Florida
Dem Progressives vs Centrists battle continues to play out, Republican candidates gain traction supporting Trump

September 4 - Massachusetts
Dems predominate with women and women of color making inroads

September 13 - NY Federal
Progressives infiltrate the NY State Senate and now face fierce battles with Republicans; centrists dominate in the bigger races.

READ MORE: The New York Times, March 6, 2018

+ WHAT THE PRIMARIES TELL US…ABOUT CANDIDATES

Are women winning?
Check out this terrific site from Politico.com that tracks how women are doing in the 2018 midterms:
Check out: The Women Candidate Tracker from Politico.com

+ WHAT THE PRIMARIES TELL US…ABOUT VOTERS

Democratic voter turnout has increased
giving Dems a 6.2% advantage (# of people who say they’ll support a Dem candidate) as of June 2018.
READ MORE:
NYTimes.com, June 2018
FiveThirtyEight.com, as of June 2018. Real time data, subject to change

However…
in 7 of the 8 battleground states in California, more Republican voters turned out than Democrats…
in Georgia, Democrat turnout surged but still didn’t beat Republican turnout…
same for Texas and other states.
Read more: Alternet.org, June 2018

red-bg.jpg
  WILD CARDS

This just in...

Republicans are making it harder to vote in Georgia,
North Dakota, Kansas, Missouri, Virginia, and Ohio.
Will the obstacles to vote effect who wins?
Read More: Vox.com, October 25, 2018

+ WOMEN VOTERS

  • "So far across the 41 states that have held their primaries, 41 percent of all Democratic Party nominees &em; and 48 percent of all non-incumbent nominees &em; are women, a level that simply obliterates all previous records."
    Source: Vox.com, September 5, 2018
  • White, college-educated women prefer Democrats by 47 points.
    Source: The Washington Post, July 2018

+ RUSSIAN HACKING

  • A recent hacker conference proved that American voting machines are hackable.
    Source: CBSNews.com, July 30, 2017
  • Three candidates were targeted by phishing expeditions, including Sen. Claire McCaskill one of the more vulnerable Democratic candidates.
    Source: NPR.org, July 28, 2018
  • Five top national security officers recently warned of interference.
  • Russian interference could/does include disinformation campaigns, social media polarization campaigns, undermining trust and creating confusion about the voting process and voter suppression.
    Source: Bloomberg.com, July 8, 2018

+ PROGRESSIVES vs CENTRIST DEMS

  • Surprise upset or changing landscape? Some voters want unapologetic Progressives in office, like Gillum in Florida and Garcia in Arizona, and polls may not see them coming.
    Read More: NewYorker.com, August 2018
    Read More: Vox.com, August 2018
15588604_s-tug-o-war-left-blue.jpg
CURRENT STATS
15588604_s-tug-o-war-right-red.jpg

HOUSE

235 Republicans

193 Democrats

7 Vacancies

218 seats required for a majority

SENATE

51 Republicans

47 Democrats



51 seats required for a majority

+ WHO IS THE 115th CONGRESS?

"The average age of Members of the House... 57.8 years;
of Senators, 61.8 years,
among the oldest in U.S. history.

The overwhelming majority of Members of Congress have a college education.

The dominant professions of Members are public service/politics, business, and law.

112 women (a record number) serve in the 115th Congress:
89 (out of 435) in the House,
including 5 Delegates and the Resident Commissioner, and
23 (out 100) in the Senate.

There are 48 African American Members of the House
and 3 in the Senate.
Source: FAS.org, Congressional Research Service, July 2018 (PDF)

+ THE SENATE SWING DISTRICTS


Where the races will be fought

CLICK HERE for Interactive Map of SENATE SEATS up for election in 2018,
indentifying those considered BATTLEGROUND elections.
Last updated September 4, 2018.


The Senate Battleground States

REPUBLICAN
Arizona - Jeff Flake
Mississippi - Cindy Hyde-Smith
Nevada - Dean Heller
Tennessee - Bob Corker
Texas - Ted Cruz

DEMOCRAT
California - Dianne Feinstein
Florida - Bill Nelson
Indiana - Joe Donnelly
Minnesota - Tina Smith
Missouri - Claire McCaskill
Montana - Jon Tester
New Jersey - Bob Menendez
New Mexico - Martin Heinrich
North Dakota - Heidi Heitkamp
Ohio - Sherrod Brown
West Virginia - Joe Manchin

+ THE HOUSE SWING DISTRICTS


Where the races will be fought

Click for Interactive Map of HOUSE SEATS up for election in 2018,
indentifying those considered BATTLEGROUND elections.
Last updated September 4, 2018.


The HOUSE Battleground States

REPUBLICAN
State + District - Incumbent
Arkansas' 2nd - French Hill
Arizona's 2nd - Martha McSally
California's 10th - Jeff Denham
California's 22nd - Devin Nunes
California's 25th - Stephen Knight
California's 39th - Edward Royce
California's 45th - Mimi Walters
California's 48th - Dana Rohrabacher
California's 49th - Darrell Issa
California's 50th - Duncan Hunter
Colorado's 6th - Mike Coffman
Florida's 16th - Vern Buchanan
Florida's 25th - Mario Diaz-Balart
Florida's 26th - Carlos Curbelo
Florida's 27th - Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
Georgia's 6th - Karen Handel
Georgia's 7th - Rob Woodall
Illinois' 6th - Peter Roskam
Illinois' 12th - Mike Bost
Illinois' 13th - Rodney Davis
Illinois' 14th - Randy Hultgren
Iowa's 1st - Rod Blum
Iowa's 3rd - David Young
Kansas' 2nd - Lynn Jenkins
Kansas' 3rd - Kevin Yoder
Kentucky's 6th - Andy Barr
Maine's 2nd - Bruce Poliquin
Michigan's 8th - Mike Bishop
Michigan's 11th - David Trott
Minnesota's 2nd - Jason Lewis
Minnesota's 3rd - Erik Paulsen
Montana's at-large - Greg Gianforte
Nebraska's 2nd - Don Bacon
New Jersey's 2nd - Frank LoBiondo
New Jersey's 3rd - Tom MacArthur
New Jersey's 7th - Leonard Lance
New Jersey's 11th - Rodney Frelinghuysen
New Mexico's 2nd - Steve Pearce
New York's 11th - Dan Donovan
New York's 19th - John Faso
New York's 22nd - Claudia Tenney
North Carolina's 9th - Robert Pittenger
North Carolina's 13th - Ted Budd
Ohio's 1st - Steve Chabot
Ohio's 12th - Troy Balderson
Pennsylvania's 1st - Brian Fitzpatrick
Pennsylvania's 5th - Vacant
Pennsylvania's 6th - Ryan Costello
Pennsylvania's 7th - Vacant
Pennsylvania's 17th - Keith Rothfus
South Carolina's 1st - Mark Sanford
Texas' 7th - John Culberson
Texas' 23rd - Will Hurd
Texas' 32nd - Pete Sessions
Utah's 4th - Mia Love
Virginia's 2nd - Scott Taylor
Virginia's 5th - Thomas Garrett
Virginia's 7th - David Brat
Virginia's 10th - Barbara Comstock
Washington's 3rd - Jaime Herrera Beutler
Washington's 5th - Cathy McMorris Rodgers
Washington's 8th - Dave Reichert
West Virginia's 3rd - Evan Jenkins
Wisconsin's 1st - Paul Ryan


DEMOCRAT
State + District - Incumbent
Arizona's 1st - Tom O'Halleran
California's 16th - Jim Costa
Connecticut's 5th - Elizabeth Esty
Minnesota's 1st - Tim Walz
Minnesota's 8th - Rick Nolan
Nevada's 3rd - Jacky Rosen
Nevada's 4th - Ruben Kihuen
New Hampshire's 1st - Carol Shea-Porter
Pennsylvania's 17th - Conor Lamb
Washington's 9th - Adam Smith

WHO VOTES BY PARTY

28% Republican 27% Democrat 43% Independent

Gallup Poll, August 2018
How will independents vote in the midterms?
No one knows...



INDEPENDENTS ARE...
“People whose views are too extreme for either of the two mainstream parties…
People (especially younger people) who avoid adopting a party label even as they vote consistently on behalf of one party’s candidates – usually Democrats and most importantly, lower-information cross-pressured voters who agree with some positions in each major party.”
Source: Washington Monthly, July 2018

TAKE OUR POLLS

Does your party represent your interests and concerns?
Yes, always
Most of the time
Sometimes
Not really / rarely
Not right now
Other
Please Specify:
If you're an Independent, which way are you leaning?
Blue
Red
Undecided

+ WHO VOTES & HOW

WHO IDENTIFIES AS

Republican
Silent Gen (52%)
White (51%)
Men (48%)
White no college education (47%)
Baby Boomers (46%)
Gen X (43%)
Women (37%)
White college education (36%)
Millennials (32%)

Democrat
African Americans (84%)
Millennial Women (70%)
Asians(65%)
Hispanics (63%)
Millennials (59%)
White college educated (58%)
Women (56%)
Baby Boomers (48%)
Gen X (48%)
Silent Gen (43%)
White (43%)

Source: Trends in party affiliation among demographic groups, Pew Research Center, March 2018

+ VOTERS BY PARTY

About independents Pew Research Center says:
“Most independents lean toward one of the major parties; when their partisan leanings are taken into account, 50% of registered voters identify as Democrats or lean toward the Democratic Party, while 42% identify as Republicans or lean toward the GOP. While the overall balance of leaned party affiliation has not changed much in recent years, this is the first time since 2009 that as many as half of registered voters have affiliated with or leaned toward the Democratic Party.”
Read More: Pew Research Center, March 2018
WHO CAN'T VOTE
 

Gerrymandering

 

Gerrymandering...when politicians choose their voters
instead of voters choosing their politicians.

+ GERRYMANDERING EXPLAINED

+ THE MOST GERRYMANDERED DISTRICTS

FL 5
MD 3
PA 7
FL 5
OH 11
WI 2,4
UT 3, 4
IL 4, 7
PA 7, 12
LA 2, 6
NC 1, 4, 12
NC 1, 4, 12
TX 33, 2, 16, 26, 31, 35
MI 14, 4, 76, 14, 5, 94, 32, 11, 24, 6

“Currently, 8 out of the 10 of the most gerrymandered districts in the United States favor Republicans.”
Source:Rantt.com, May 2017

Ranking Texas’s Most gerrymandered districts
Source: Chron.com, June 2018

Michigan has some of the nation's worst gerrymandered districts.
Source: Source: Bridgemi.com, April 2017

+ RESULTS OF GERRYMANDERING

• Gerrymandering trumps the popular vote.
• Democrats gerrymander too but right now Republicans rule.
• Republicans now hold 22 additional House seats because of gerrymandering.

Read More: RollingStone.com, January 2018

SPECIFIC EXAMPLE
Republicans held the U.S. House in 2012, despite earning 1.4 million fewer votes than Democratic congressional candidates, and won large GOP majorities in the Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan and North Carolina state legislatures even when more voters backed Democrats. Some say that to win the House in the 2018 midterms, Democrats would have to beat Republicans by a margin of 11 points nationally because of gerrymandered maps.
Read More:TheHill.com, March 2018

+ CHALLENGING GERRYMANDERING


In the Michigan State House, the NYT reported Republicans maintain a 63-47 advantage,
even though a majority of voters picked Democrats in 2016.

But Voters, not Politicians got a new initiative on the ballot
- a proposal for a citizen’s commission with members from all parties that would redraw the maps.
Source: NYTimes.com, July 2018

Lawsuits challenging gerrymandering in Texas, Wisconsin & North Carolina
were rejected in June 2018 by the Supreme Court.
Source: Politico.com, June 2018

97588815_s-ballot-hand-left.jpg

VOTER SUPPRESSION

“Since 2008, states across the country have passed measures to make it harder for Americans—particularly black people, the elderly, students, and people with disabilities—to exercise their fundamental right to cast a ballot. These measures include cuts to early voting, voter ID laws, and purges of voter rolls."
Source: ACLU.org
97588815_s-ballot-hand-right.jpg
Chris_Rock_WE_2012_Shankbone-bw.jpg

"They don't want you to vote. If they did, we wouldn't vote on a Tuesday. In November. You ever throw a party on a Tuesday? No. Because nobody would come."

--Chris Rock
Comedian, Actor, Writer

+ VOTER ID LAWS & REQUIREMENTS


READ MORE: See the interactive map.
SOURCE: NCSL.org

34 states require voters to show some form of ID to vote
Source: NCSL.org, May 2018

11% of voters do not have the required proof of citizenship
25% African Americans do not have the required proof of citizenship
Source: ACLU.org, May 2017

First time voters may face additional requirements
Source: NCSL.org, May 2018

1 in 10 Wisconsin voters said they could not get a voter ID or were deterred from voting by the requirement… that number equals 23,000 voters and is the number by which Trump won the state.
Read More: RollingStone.com, January 2014

+ MORE ON VOTER SUPPRESSION

USE IT OR LOSE IT
June 2018 - The US Supreme Court ruled that voters who have not voted in 2 years can be notified that they will be kicked off the voter rolls and if they don’t reply they are kicked off without further notice.
Source: ACLU.org, June 2018

CLOSED PRIMARIES
14 States have closed primaries (Delaware, Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Oregon and Wyoming).
Source:Wikipedia.org

Voters can only vote in parties they are registered to. BUT 43% of AMERICAN voters are Independents including 50% of Millennials, so Independents, who represent literally millions of voters are shut out.
Source: OpenPrimaries.org


FELON DISNFRANCHISEMENT
"6.1 MILLION Americans cannot vote because of a felony conviction.
The United States is the only democracy in the world that regularly bans large numbers of felons from voting after they have discharged their sentences.”
Read More: SentencingProject.org

RESTRICTED EARLY VOTING
Early voting helps people who may be out of town, cannot get to a poll easily or have to work. In 13 states there is no early voting:
NY, PA, VA, NH, CT, RI, DE SC, Al, MS, MO, KY, MI
Read More: NCSL.org

REDUCED VOTING LOCATIONS
In 2016 there were 868 fewer places to cast a ballot. These states closed the following number of polling places - some have a history of voter discrimination.
TEXAS: 403
GEORGIA 214
ARIZONA: 212
LOUISIANA: 103
ALABAMA: 66
MISSOURI: 44
NORTH CAROLINA: 27
SOUTH CAROLINA: 12
Read more: TheNation.com
Read more: The Atlanta Journal Constitution, August 2018

Everyone votes. The top 2 candidates face off regardless of party.
California just did this.
Read more: OpenPrimaries.org/

Read More about voting restrictions: TheBrennanCenter.org
66635840_s-man-running-from-shadow-bw-left.png
VOTER PARTIES/
/PARTISAN DIVIDE

66635840_s-man-running-from-shadow-bw.png
"A majority of Republicans and Democrats not only believe that the
opposing party's policies are wrong, they believe they are
harmful..."

45% of Republicans &
41% of Democrats
view the “other” party as a threat to the nation’s well-being.

Source: Pew Research Center
800px-Andrew_Breitbart-bw.jpg

"I'm not as partisan as people think I am."

-- Andrew Breitbart
American conservative commentator

TAKE OUR POLL

 
How do you feel about the "other" party?
Love 'em!
Some are okay I guess
On the fence
Don't really like 'em
I can't stand 'em
 

+ FEAR & LOATHING

Democrat and Republican views of each other are more negative than they’ve been in 25 years.
They are not just angry at each other - they are afraid.
READ MORE: Pew Research Center, June 2016

Both Democrats and Republicans find talking to people who they strongly disagree with stressful and frustrating and a majority view the “other” party’s policies as being harmful…
READ MORE: Pew Research Center, June 2016

and even a threat to the nation’s well being.
READ MORE: Pew Research Center, June 2016

Democrats and Republicans have opposing views on major issues
Read More: Pew Research Center October 2018

NOTE: 33% Republicans express frustration with their own party. 13% Democrats say the same.
READ MORE: Pew Research Center, June 2016

Header/Name

Text goes in here.

red-bg.jpg
DEALBREAKER ISSUES

What are your dealbreaker issues

TAKE OUR POLL
What Are Your Dealbreaker Issues?
(check all that apply or add your own)
Health Care
Gun Control
Immigration
Money in Politics
Donald Trump’s performance as President
Climate Change / Environment
Racial Profiling / Social Justice
LGBTQIA+ Rights
Consumer Protections
Foreign Policy
Women’s Health
Labor Issues / Unions
Minimum Wage
Poverty & Income Inequality
Other
Please Specify:
What Americans DO Agree on

It turns out, there's quite a lot that we agree on, across party lines. Here are a few:

+ HEALTH CARE

59% of respondents supported a Medicare-for-all healthcare system in which all Americans would get coverage through a government program like Medicare or Medicaid.
75% favor a public option for those that want it.
Read More: Kaiser Family Foundation- Health Tracking Poll, March 2018

+ GUN CONTROL

75% Americans favor stricter gun laws
94% favor requiring background checks
72% support banning assault style weapons
Read More: NPR.org, March 2018

+ CLIMATE CHANGE

70% of Americans believe global warming is happening
77% of Americans support regulating CO2 as a pollutant
Read More: Yale.edu Climate Communication, August 2018

+ MONEY IN POLITICS

77% of the public says “there should be limits on the amount of money individuals and organizations” can spend on political campaigns.
Read More: The Pew Research Center, May 2018
THE MILLENNIAL VOTING BLOCK

Eighteen to thirty-four year olds are now the largest
voting block in the US and could influence significant issues.
What’s important to them? Will they vote?

+ MILLENNIAL VOTER DATA

HOW MANY MILLENNIALS ARE THERE?
75.9 Million Millennials aged 18 - 34 as of July 2017
Read More: MarketingCharts.com, April 2018

MILLENNIAL TOP ISSUES
Civil rights/Racial Discrimination
Employment/Job Creation
Health Care
Climate
Immigration
Read More: TheRenewalProject.com

53% of Millennials believe voting can produce real change
45% of Millennials do not.
Read More: NBCNews.com, January 2018

WILL THEY VOTE?
Historically, Millennials have a low turnout in midterms elections.
Read More: Pew Research Center, June 2018
50% Millennials say they will vote and vote blue in 2018
25% Millennials say they will vote and vote red in 2018
25% Millennials said they were not planning to vote in 2018
Read More: NBCNews.com, January 2018

Registration rates for voters aged 18-29 have surged in key battleground states since February, suggesting increased impact youth voters may have on the upcoming midterm and presidential elections.
Read More: After Parkland Shooting, Youth Voter Registration Surges, July 2018

HOW THEY VOTE
59% of Millennials affiliate with or lean Democratic
70% of Millennial women affiliate with or lean Democratic
Read More: Pew Research Center, March 2018

71% Millennials say they’re more likely to vote for a candidate based on their positions on issues
Read More: NBCNews.com, January 2018

 
 
 
THE NONVOTERS

45% of registered voters did NOT vote in 2016.
To understand who they are and why, check out the data.
To understand what they’ll do in 2018 check out their interviews

+ NONVOTER DATA

HOW MANY ELIGIBLE VOTERS DID NOT VOTE IN 2016
Of 232 million eligible voters in the US.
approx, 45% or 100,000,000 eligible voters
did not vote
Source: Washington Post, November 2016

In the November 2016 Presidential election
25.6% voted for Clinton
25.5% voted for Trump
1.7% voted for Johnson
Source: Pew Research Center, June 2017

WHO ARE THE NONVOTERS?
27% Gen Ex
27% Baby Boomers
24% millennials
19% Silent/Greatest Gen
Source: Pew Research Center, June 2017

The biggest increase in voter
non-participation were in these groups:

Gen X
African Americans
Hispanics
Asian Americans
Those with a Bachelor degree or more
Naturalized citizens
Source: HuffingtonPost.com, May 2017

WHY DIDN’T THEY VOTE
25% voters didn’t like the candidates or the issues
15% voters said their vote wouldn’t make a difference
15% were not interested
14% too busy, schedule conflicts (Voter suppression could play a role)
12% illness or disability (Voter suppression could play a role)
4% registration problems (Voter suppression could play a role)
Source: Pew Research, June 2017
Source: HuffingtonPost.com, May 2017

 
Non-voter image.001.jpg
 

TAKE OUR POLL

What concerns you most about nonvoters?
They skew representation, often to their own disadvantage
They are dead weight on our electorate
I'm not concerned about them., they're a natural part of our democracy
Other
Please Specify:
AMERICANS ARE NOT BIG VOTERS

55% of registered voters voted in the 2016 Presidential election.
We rank 26th in voter turnout around the world.


Why don’t more of us vote?

TAKE OUR POLLS

Why don't more of us vote?
We are happy with our democracy and don't feel the need to vote
We are unhappy with our democracy and voice our dissatisfaction by refusing to participate
We don't like our choices
We feel that our votes don't matter
Other
Please Specify:
What does not voting mean for our democracy?
You might end up living with policies you don't agree with
You might feel your government doesn't represent you
You government might be run by a ruling minority rather than a majority
You might have a harder time changing policies/laws you don't like
It doesn't make any difference
Other
Please Specify:
91475941_s-man-pushing-hand-left.png
ARE WE IN TROUBLE?

A government of the people, by the people, and for the people...

91475941_s-man-pushing-hand-right.png
Ruth-bader-ginsburg-time-100-2015-icons-bw.jpg

"I think the notion that we have all the democracy that money can buy strays so far from what our democracy is supposed to be."

Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States

TAKE OUR POLLS

50% of Americans believe that our democracy is in danger of becoming undemocratic. 43% say it is not. What do you think?
I agree, our democracy is in danger.
I disagree, I don't believe our democracy is in danger.
Other
Please Specify:
81% of Democrats and 70% of Republicans or 3 in 4 Americans think that "the laws enacted by our national government these days mostly reflect what powerful special interests and their lobbyists want."
Yeah, I agree with that.
No, I disagree.
Other
Please Specify: