Midterms, midterms, midterms. Though these critical elections don't happen until November 6, it feels like we've been talking about them for... well, ever. Or at least for as long as President Trump has been in office, which is beginning to feel like a lifetime.
A lot has happened since the election that failed to deliver our first woman president: The first (and second) Women's March; the Muslim ban; botched attempts by the Republicans to overturn the ACA; the rise of #MeToo and Time's Up; mass shootings in Las Vegas and Parkland, Florida; the migrant family separation crisis; the road to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Whether these seismic events will be what it takes to flip the House blue, or ultimately prove to reinforce the status quo, one thing is certain: The stakes are high.
Within a year of the 2016 election, it became clear that unprecedented numbers of American women were being galvanized to run for office. That's even truer now. But beyond the women candidates who are poised to help change the face of the boys' club that is electoral politics in America, this election holds key races that promise to color the tenor of state and federal legislative decision-making for a generation to follow.
These are big battles: 33 Senate seats and all 435 House seats are up for grabs. 36 states are electing governors. 87 of the 99 state legislative chambers are holding regular elections, too. It's of paramount importance that we not only exercise our right to vote, if we have that ability, but also encourage everyone we know to do the same.
Here's everything you need to know about getting out the vote, getting involved, and the races you'll need to keep an eye on like your future depends on it. Because — you guessed it! — it does.
Democracy is about more than just people voting for a candidate: Access to polls, voter registration, and having information about campaigns and their corresponding issues are all critical pieces of the electoral puzzle. But for many voters, that's just too much dang work — only 40 percent of eligible American voters hit the polls in midterm elections, compared with the roughly 60 percent that come out to vote for president.
For non-incumbent candidates, the non-voter margin can make or break an election. As breakout New York congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wisely puts it: “Our swing voter is not red-to-blue. Our swing voter is the voter to the non-voter, the non-voter to the voter.”
How to: vote, register people to vote, help out at polling places, and MORE!Read More
Let's be honest: Every election season has some races that are more exciting to watch than others. This time around, poll watchers are keeping a special eye on races that would help usher in a predicted "blue wave" of Democratic candidates sweeping GOP-held seats, carried in part by history-making women and the unexpected underdogs who came out of nowhere to win their respective primaries. These races are compelling not only because they present a potential shift, but also for what they have to tell us about what Americans want in a highly polarized and fast-changing political climate. The outcomes of these races could alter the course of lawmaking in major, long-lasting ways.
The champions vs the foes.Read More
Their platforms say it all.Read More
They're in it to win it.Read More
You've gotta start somewhere.Read More
We've already covered that women are underrepresented in US politics, and that 2018 has brought a major shift toward parity. More women are running than ever, and whether it's their first or fifth time on the campaign trail, their stories speak to a tenacity and drive to be the change they want to see in the world. Here's what some of the 2018 women candidates have to say about why they're in this fight to the very end.
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