My favorite live television experience was the all-night coverage of the 2020 Super Tuesday results—I especially loved being part of a group of smart and fun commentators! But coming in a close second was my very first overnight election analysis on Al Jazeera, for the 2018 midterms. Doha is seven or eight hours ahead of East Coast time, so election results start coming in around 2 am. Since I was going to wake up early anyway, I appreciated the invitation to sit with the anchor, watch the results coming in with the Al Jazeera team, and discuss the themes and trends as they emerged. Now we are coming up on another midterm election and I will miss being under the bright lights on the television stage! But, I’ll appreciate the fact that I’ll be able to go to sleep at 2 am with a pretty good idea of the election results, rather than wake up at 2 am to follow along!
Midterm elections are always an interesting moment because they often represent a rebalancing of American politics. Quite often, the president’s party loses seats in the midterm elections. There are several possible reasons for this shift, including presidential approval ratings, the economy, or lower turnout. Therefore, in terms of historical patterns, we should expect that Democrats will lose seats in the upcoming midterms. However, analysts aren’t quite sure how “wild card” variables like the Supreme Court overturning abortion rights in Roe v. Wade or the continued influence of Trump will affect the final voting results. We’ll just have to wait until the votes are counted!
The themes and trends of the 2018 midterm elections were important, including the record number of women candidates running for (and winning) political office, voter turnout and voter restrictions, the prominent issues of health care and immigration, and the meaning of a Republican increase in the Senate versus a Democrat increase in the House. It will be interesting to learn the American people’s major messages and lessons this Election Day!
Here are the clips from my 2018 midterms live television analysis:
In this segment, we discuss the record number of women running for elected office and the issues these women candidates are bringing to the forefront of the political discourse.
In this segment, we discuss the House race in Kentucky, the governor races in Florida and Georgia, and the number of first-time political candidates fielded by the Democratic Party.
In this segment, we discuss voter turnout and voting restrictions, including the consequences of the 2013 Supreme Court decision that affected the 1965 Voting Rights Act and the campaigns for governor by two sitting secretaries of state, Kris Kobach in Kansas and Brian Kemp in Georgia.
In this segment, we discuss the “red wave” in the Senate and the “blue wave” in the House. the importance of the Kavanaugh confirmation process for the Senate results, and the different roles of the Senate and House in US politics.
In this segment, we discuss the elections of the first women governors in Maine (Janet Mills, D) and South Dakota (Kristi Noem, R) and the first openly gay governor in Colorado (Jared Polis, D), the close governor race in Wisconsin, the increase in voter turnout for both parties’ supporters, and the impact of redrawn districts to reduce gerrymandering in Pennsylvania.
In this segment, we discuss the importance of health care policy over immigration in the minds of the voters and the Beto effect in flipping House districts in Texas.