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Three factors will determine whether Democrats retake Congress in the November midterm elections

September 18,2018 20:16

Elections for Congress in November will have a huge impact on the next two years of Donald Trump's presidency. The results will influence economic and regulatory policies, investigations into administration scandals, and the possibility that Trump will ...


The votes on 6 November will give US voters their first chance to pass judgment on Donald Trump since he took the White House. Here’s what you need to know about what’s at stake

Republicans
51

Democrats
49

51 needed for a majority

Here comes the math: the Grand Old Party (GOP) does have a big advantage over the Democrats in this showdown, because the Democratic party is defending 26 seats (including two independents, who usually vote with them) while the Republicans only have to defend nine.

California has approximately 68 times the population of Wyoming ...

The Senate electoral system is also weighed against the Democrats. Each state gets two senators, irrespective of population, so Wyoming has as many as California, despite the latter having more than 60 times the population. The smaller states also tend to be the more rural, and rural areas traditionally favor the Republicans. One hopeful note for the Democrats is that Nevada and Arizona are both open races – in which the incumbent senator is not running – and both were only narrowly won by the Republicans in 2012.

Current control of Senate seats up in 2018

Democrat
Republican
Independent
Not electing this year

* Minnesota and Mississippi also hold special elections on 6 November. In these states, two seats are in play

Key race – ArizonaThe Senate seat held by Barry Goldwater and John McCain could be picked up by Democrats in 2018. After a tough primary, Republican Martha McSally has been pushed to the right and faces a tough race against Democrat Kyrsten Sinema in a state with a growing Latino population and with deep tensions between traditional business oriented Republicans like McCain and hard right Trumpists.

Republicans
240

Democrats
195

218 needed for a majority

The Democrats have a much better chance of winning here. Representation in the House is (relatively) proportional to population, and the whole chamber is re-elected every two years. They need a net gain of 24 seats to win a majority. But in the last 50 years they've scored a net gain of that size only twice, in 1974 and in 2006. In the same period the Republicans have made a 24+ net gain only three times, but the most recent was in 2010, in the midterm elections of Barack Obama's first term.

American voters are usually reluctant to eject a sitting representative. So for Democrats, some of their best hopes are in seats where the incumbent is not standing again. The good news for Dems is that a record 39 Republicans – many of whom were anti-Trump – have chosen to bow out instead of contest their seats in November, and some of those are in key swing states such as Florida and Pennsylvania.

All House seats up for election (435)
Seats not contested by the incumbent (66)

Democrat
Republican

Key race – Pennsylvania's 17th districtDemocrat Conor Lamb won a shock special election win in March. Now, after court ordered redistricting, he'll face off against Republican incumbent Keith Rothfus in a far more friendly district. However, it's still a district Trump narrowly won. More key races

Each US state has a governor, who is like a local president. Their interactions with the federal government can be significant; they may have a large amount of sway, for instance, over local gun laws or the implementation of health insurance policies. But this year, Democrats think their salience is national because many of them have a veto over redistricting. Remapping of electoral districts happens in the US after every census. The next round will happen in 2022 when the 2020 census results are in. Governors elected this year who serve four-year terms will still be in office then. Democrats are hoping to win office in several swing states that have open races, such as Ohio, Nevada, Michigan and Florida, and thereby prevent gerrymandering that would affect congressional races as far away as to 2032.
States electing governors in 2018

Democrat, open
Democrat, incumbent standing again
Republican, open
Republican, incumbent standing
Not electing this year

Key race – FloridaAfrican American Democrat Andrew Gillum won an upset victory in the primary, bolstered by heavy financial support from Tom Steyer, a billionaire hedge-fund manager. The unabashed progressive will face off against Republican Ron DeSantis, an ardent Trump supporter, in what will be one of the marquee races of the midterms.

Sources
US Senate, US House of Representatives, MIT, Brookings Institute, National Conference of State Legislatures, Federal Electoral Commission, National Governors Association

US midterms 2018,US news,World news,US politics,Democrats,Republicans,Trump administration

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