Checking in on the 2018 Midterms

July 23, 2018 Blog

As wild as the 2016 presidential election and the preceding campaigns were, it’s hard to believe that the 2018 midterm elections are practically upon us. And yet, nearly half of primary elections have already taken place. So what’s in store for America in November? Here we’ll examine the trends we’ve seen so far from the primary elections.

  • Of the 194 Democratic seats in the House, 185 of those are considered safe.  Of the 236 Republican seats in the House, 174 are believed to go safely back into GOP hands. 

  • Retirements will play a major role in 2018.  There are 32 Members of the House of Representatives retiring this year including the most high profile Member of all, Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan. Add 14 resignations in the House and you’ve got nearly 50 seats up for grabs.  On the Senate side, only 3 retirements have been announced on top of 3 resignations. The death of Rep. Louise Slaughter of New York in March leaves an additional vacancy in the House. 

  • Of the hundreds of Congressional races scheduled for November, dozens are considered competitive races according to ratings watchers. Of the competitive races, 17 are likely to lean Democratic, 20 are considered tossups, and 57 are likely to lean Republican.

  • The anti-establishment wave felt during the 2016 elections continues, though perhaps not as dramatically. For progressives, the biggest shakeup came during Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s shocking victory against 10-term incumbent Joe Crowley in New York’s 14th Congressional District primary. Far left candidates also won two gubernatorial primaries: Ben Jealous in Maryland and Rep. Jared Polis in Colorado.

  • Another shocking upset came from North Carolina’s 9th District GOP primary where three-term incumbent Rep. Robert Pittenger was defeated by newcomer Mark Harris of Charlotte, NC. In a district once considered solidly Republican, the GOP nominee will face off against Charlotte Democrat and former marine Dan McCready in an election now considered a “toss up” by many analysts. Mark Harris, who considers himself a populist in the mold of President Donald Trump, mobilized evangelical and conservative voters. 

  • Women are running, and winning, in larger numbers than ever before. Of all the candidates running in the midterms nearly 600 are women.  469 female candidates for seats in the House, 53 for the Senate, and 73 women are running for governorships. More than half of these candidates have already made it through their primaries, and so far, more women have won than lost.

These are just a few of the key takeaways from the primary season so far, but it looks like it’s shaping up to be another interesting fall and a wild November.