The Blue Wave Turned Into A Ripple
The 2018 United States elections were held in the United States on Tuesday, November 6, 2018, except for certain special elections. All these races, whether for a federal, state, or local office, were administered by the individual state and local governments, which is standard practice in the United States. These midterm elections took place in the middle of Republican President Donald Trump's first term. All 435 seats in the United States House of Representatives and 35 of the 100 seats in the United States Senate were contested. In addition, 39 state and territorial governorships, as well as numerous other state and local elections, were also contested.
The election saw Democrats take control of the House of Representatives while Republicans added to their majority in the Senate.In May 2018, President Trump began to emphasize his effort to overcome the traditional strength of the non-presidential party in midterm elections, with "top priority for the White House [being to hold] the Republican majority in the Senate". He was already at that time well into his own 2020 reelection campaign, having launched it on inauguration day, 2017. In May, on a trip to Texas for a Houston fundraiser targeting the midterms, he also held a fundraising dinner in Dallas for the 2020 campaign. By early August, the president's midterm efforts had included rallies in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, Montana and elsewhere "reprising the style and rhetoric of his 2016 campaign". Democrats "need to flip 23 seats to capture the speaker's gavel", USA Today put it. The President was addressing the economy, the border wall, the "trade war", "don't believe anything" and the space force in the rallies, per the report.
In late August 2018, controversy surfaced about the degree of campaigning being done on what were termed "official" visits around the country. One report said, traditionally, partisan attacks and endorsements were kept out of official events but that President Trump was not observing that norm. Beyond the norm, one commentator was quoted referring to "laws designed to prevent taxpayer resources from being used for self-serving purposes – in this case, for campaign purposes." White House-recognized individuals "familiar with the president's thinking" spoke without attribution on a conference call and in another call about the campaigning. The individuals identified 35 events by Cabinet and senior staff members "with or affecting House districts in August already ... [all] targeted districts" and described a July 26 Presidential trip, presented as "official", as having been "for" Rep. Rod Blum of Iowa and Rep. Mike Bost of Illinois. The White House (via deputy press secretary Lindsay Walters) responded to the report: "It is unfortunate but ultimately unsurprising that a liberal publication like Huffington Post would make these misleading accusations and misconstrue the intent of the response".
The 2018 state elections will impact the redistricting that will follow the 2020 United States Census, as many states task governors and state legislators with drawing new boundaries for state legislative and Congressional districts.
Main article: United States gubernatorial elections, 2018
Elections will be held for the governorships of 36 U.S. states and three U.S. territories, as well as for the Mayor of the District of Columbia.
87 of the 99 state legislative chambers are holding regularly scheduled elections in 2018, as will six of the nine territorial legislative chambers. Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, and Virginia do not hold regularly scheduled legislative elections in even years. Puerto Rico does not hold regularly scheduled legislative elections outside of presidential election years. Kansas, Minnesota, New Mexico, South Carolina, and American Samoa will only hold elections for their lower houses. In legislative chambers that use staggered terms, only a portion of the seats in the chamber will be up for election.
157 ballot measures will be voted on in 34 states. These include many initiatives on redistricting reform and voting rights, marijuana, health care, and taxes.
Major cities that are holding mayoral elections in 2018 include:
Newark, New Jersey: Incumbent mayor Ras J. Baraka was re-elected to a second term with 77.05% of the vote.
Phoenix, Arizona: Thelda Williams is the incumbent and acting mayor after Greg Stanton chose to resign on May 29, 2018, to seek election for the United States Congress.