2018 United States Midterm Elections

2018 United States Midterm Elections

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Updated Feb 04, 2019 at 08:39PM EST by Brad.

Added Oct 23, 2018 at 01:18PM EDT by Matt.

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Overview

The 2018 United States Midterm Elections are the general elections held near the mid-point of President Donald Trump's first terms as President of the United States. These elections include state, federal and local elections.

Background

In 2018, all 435 seats in the United States House of Representatives are up for for election, while 35 of the 100 seats of the United States Senate will be contested. Leading up to the election, many believed that an enormous number of democratic voters, known colloquially as the "blue wave," would take both the House and the Senate. However, as the election grew closer, some tempered those expectations, predicting that democrats would take the republican-controlled House, while the republicans would continue to hold the senate.[1][2][3]

Developments

Texas Senatorial Election

On March 31st, 2017, United States Representative for Texas's 16th District Beto O'Rourke announced his candidacy for the United States Senate seat held by Republican Senator Ted Cruz. The following March, O'Rourke won the Democratic Party primary with 61.8 of the primary vote.[4]

DNA Test Confrontation

On April 4th, 2018, YouTuber Tammy Talpas published a video in which she confronts Ted Cruz at a campaign stop in Austin, Texas. In the video (shown below), Talpas reads a pre-written statement to Cruz. She says, "I purchase my individual policy on the Health Insurance Exchange. If you force me into a high-risk pool, you will either bankrupt me or kill me. I take your threats of medical aggression personally and seriously; and I can assure you, I’m not the only Texan who d… who does. My question is: Will you pledge to submit to a DNA test, to prove that you’re human?"



May Beto Can't Debate Ted Cruz Because

Maybe Beto Can't Debate Ted Cruz Because refers to a series of parodies made of a tweet by the Texas GOP Twitter account which suggested that Beto O'Rourke could not debate the senator because he had a gig with his old band, attaching a promotional photo of the politician from when he played with the group. The tweet was mocked by many for backfiring and making O'Rourke appear very cool, and was turned into a snowclone in some parodies.

On August 28th, 2018, the Texas GOP Twitter account, @TexasGOP, tweeted an image of Beto O'Rourke and his bandmates in Foss, which played in the 90s. The tweet was meant to show O'Rourke as unprofessional.


.160) Texas GOP Follow TexasGOP Maybe Beto can't debate Ted Cruz because he already had plans... Foss Sorry, can't debate. e We have a aia 8:15 PM - 28 Aug 2018

After the tweet was posted, it was mocked by many Twitter users for inadvertently making O'Rourke look cool. User @Neighbormania sarcastically tweeted "Definitely don't want to vote for this cool guy who did fun stuff and had friends," gaining over 380 retweets and 10,000 likes (shown below, left). User iCyclone said that he was glad to see an elected official who's "lived life" as opposed to "walking corpses in suits" (shown below, right).


"Macho Man" Rand Paul's Neighbor @Neighbormania Follow Replying to @TexasGOP Definitely don't want to vote for this cool guy who did fun stuff and had friends. 11:20 AM - 29 Aug 2018 Josh Morgerman @iCyclone Follow Replying to @TexasGOP This makes me like him more. We need elected officials who've lived life, who aren't walking corpses in suits. #backfire 12:15 PM - 29 Aug 2018

Ted Cruz Looking at Beto O'Rourke

On September 25th, 2018, Cruz was photographed on an airplane looking at a picture of Beto O'Rourke on his phone. The pictures were tweeted by user @KFILE that morning (shown below).


andrew kaczynski9 Follow @KFILE Per Politico: Ted Cruz was spotted on his phone on a flight back rom DC looking at a photo of Beto O'Rourke. via @playbookplus

Twitter users joked that Cruz was jealous of O'Rourke in the picture, adding captions sarcastically calling Cruz relatable and making various other jokes. For example, journalist Elizabeth Bruenig paired the photos with "Hello Darkness My Old Friend", gaining over 55 retweets and 650 likes (shown below, left).


Elizabeth Bruenigo y@ebruenig Following hello darkness my old friend andrew kaczynski @KFILE Per Politico: Ted Cruz was spotted on his phone on a flight back from DC looking at a photo of Beto O'Rourke. via @playbookplus 9:03 AM -25 Sep 2018 Caroline Moss @socarolinesays Follow The only time I have ever related to Ted Cruz andrew kaczynski @KFILE Per Politico: Ted Cruz was spotted on his phone on a flight back from DC looking at a photo of Beto O'Rourke. via @playbookplus 9:09 AM -25 Sep 2018

Lyin' Ted / Beautiful Ted

During the 2016 Republican Primary, Donald Trump nicknamed Cruz "Lyin' Ted," implied his wife was ugly, and accused Cruz' father of having a role in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. During his 2018 midterm bid for reelection, Trump spoke at a rally on Cruz's behalf in Houston, Texas. Prior to the rally, a reporter asked Trump if he still considered Cruz "Lyin' Ted," to which Trump responded that he now calls Cruz "Texas Ted" and "Beautiful Ted."




The "Beautiful Ted" line was very quickly parodied on social media. People posted humorous images meant to represent "Beautiful Ted." For example, a photoshop of Ted Cruz made to look like the joker through a kawaii filter tweeted by @cal_beu gained over 90 retweets and 630 likes (shown below, left). User @HireMelmFunny tweeted a parody of the A Star Is Born exploitable, gaining over 480 retweets and 2,000 likes (shown below, right).


Callie Beusman @cal_be Follow Beautiful Ted me 1 4:21 PM-22 Oct 2018 Orli Matlow @HireMelmFunny Follow Beautiful Ted l just wante to take another at yo Hey! 4:56 PM-22 Oct 2018

Jake Gyllenhaal’s Beto O'Rourke T-Shirt

On November 4th, actor Jake Gyllenhaal posted a photograph on Facebook [5] of himself in a Beto O'Rourke for Senate t-shirt with a caption that encouraged people to vote Democratic candidates. The post received more than 20,000 reactions, 1,200 comments and 5,900 shares in two days (shown below).


Jake Gyllenhaal November 4 at 3:14 PM Facebook Creator Vote for change, for compassion, for civility, for wisdom. Vote because you think the government doesn't effect you or there's no such thing as a good politician. Vote because you can, because we fight for rights by exercising them. Vote for Stacey Abrams and Beto O'Rourke and Andrew Gillum. Vote for Kyrsten Sinema and Jacky Rosen. Take your kids and friends and parents. Vote up and down the ballot-and if there's no one on there that inspires now, vote anyway. And throw your own hat in the ring next time. But ABOVE ALL-VOTE TUESDAY NOV 6th! (And if you can't vote, make sure your people do). BETD FORSENATE

Conservative fans of Gyllenhaal reacted negatively to the post, creating an outrage against his political beliefs. Much of this backlash began when the rightwing media company The Blaze tweeted[6] the photograph with the caption "You don't live in Texas, Jake" (shown below, left). Following the post, other retweeted the The Blaze and added their own commentary on why they no longer cared for Gyllenhaal (examples below, center and right).


TheBlaze @theblaze You don't live in Texas, Jake. C Ooooo some actor telling us to vote for their choice. Let me get this straight: My body my choice, but when it comes to my ballot, you want to try to put your hands all over my ballot and our Constitution? #GTFOH #HollywoodElite #They Dont Matter #GetYourHandsOffMyConstitution TheBlaze @theblaze You don't live in Texas, Jake. He's now 80 % less attractive. TheBlaze Ф @theblaze You don't live in Texas, Jake.

Results

On Election Day, Republican Senate Ted Cruz held his senate seat, defeating opponent Beto O'Rourke with 50.9% of the vote to 48.3%.[14]


Votes-99% reporting 50.9% 4,228,832 48.3% 4,015,082 0.8% 65,034 Ted Cruz REP Beto O'Rourke DEM Neal Dikeman LIB Source: The Associated Press Feedback

Beyonce Backlash

On November 6th, recording artist Beyoncé posted a photograph on Instagram [20] of herself in a Beto O'Rourke hat. She captioned the post, "I’m feeling grateful for everyone before me who fought so hard to give us all the right to have a voice. We can’t voice our frustrations and complain about what’s wrong without voting and exercising our power to make it right. We need you. We all need each other, because when we are truly united we are unstoppable. Sending you all love and positivity on this happy voting day! Every vote counts Every race matters Everywhere." The post received more than 2.8 million views and 1 million likes in 24 hours (shown below).



Some disapproved of Beyoncé's post, believing that if she wanted to influence voters by showing support, she should have done so much earlier. Twitter[21] user @tigergood_s tweeted, "Personally, I blame Beyoncé. Sis didn’t reveal her endorsement of Beto until the day of the election. Like sis… REALLY SIS" (shown below, left). Twitter[22] user @ayandoesthings tweeted, "That hat should of came a week ago @Beyonce . I know it’s not your fault but this is like your hbo documentary all over again equally poignant & meaningless" (shown below, center).

Others disagreed that people should be blaming Beyoncé for anything, let alone the O'Rourke loss. Twitter[23] user @pettyblackgirI tweeted, "it’s not Beyoncé’s fault Beto lost, we know who she voted for. if you wanna blame someone, blame white people who continue to vote for republicans bc they don’t care about the lives they’re putting at stake by voting for bigots." The tweet received more than 620 retweets and 2,800 likes in 24 hours (shown below, right).


Personally, I blame Beyoncé. Sis didn't reveal her endorsement of Beto until the day of the election. Like sis... REALLY SIS That hat should of came a week ago @Beyonce.I know it's not your fault but this is like your hbo documentary all over again equally poignant & meaningless #Beyonce4 Beto it's not Beyoncé's fault Beto lost, we know who she voted for. if you wanna blame someone, blame white people who continue to vote for republicans bc they don't care about the lives they're putting at stake by voting for bigots.

Georgia Voting Purge

In early October 2018, investigative journalist Greg Palast warned Georgian voters to check if they were still registered. Last year.[24] Last year, Republican gubernatorial candidate and current Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp incorrectly canceled some 340,000 voter registrations, falsely asserting they had moved out of the state, according to a recent investigation by Palast.[25][26] Later on, Greg Palast created a website for those to make sure they were registered.[27] In later October, leaked audio was found with Brian Kemp expressing concern over people exercising their right to vote:


“They have just an unprecedented number of that,” he said, “which is something that continues to concern us, especially if everybody uses and exercises their right to vote -- which they absolutely can -- and mail those ballots in, we gotta have heavy turnout to offset that.”

White Supremacist Robocalls

In late October and early November, robocalls were sent out by a white supremacist group targeting specific non-white candidates, including Florida's Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum and Georgia gubernatorial candidate [29][30].



Election Day

Voting Issues

On November 6th, voters from numerous states reported a variety of issues with voting, including "broken machines, rejected ballots and untrained poll workers improperly challenging Americans’ right to vote." In Georgia and New York, voters reported issues with machines, which led to longer wait times, while voting-rights organizations fielded more than 10,000 calls by 11:30 a.m.[13]

Celebrity Votes

On November 6th, Twitter[9] compiled a Moments page, documenting the many celebrities that voted and posted about it on Twitter. Former United States First Lady Michelle Obama tweeted,[10] "#ElectionDay is here! It’s time to vote--get to the polls and make sure every single person you talk to today is doing the same. Find your polling place right now at http://whenweallvote.org . Because #WhenWeAllVote, we all do better." The tweet received more than 8,800 retweets and 25,000 likes in 24 hours (shown below, left).

Media personality and entrepreneur Oprah Winfrey tweeted,[11] "I woke up feeling compelled to pray for our country. No matter your spiritual practice, I pray that we ALL remain safe and free from harm. Pray then #GoVOTE!" The tweet received more than 7,100 retweets and 48,000 likes in 24 hours (shown below, center).

Get Out-director Jordan Peele tweeted,[12] "Time to get out and vote." The tweet received more than 3,600 retweets and 26,000 likes in 24 hours (shown below, right).


Michelle Obama @MichelleObama #ElectionDavey is here! It's time to vote-get to the polls and make sure every single person you talk to today is doing the same. Find your polling place right now at whenweallvote.org. Because #WhenWeAllVote, we all do better. , Oprah Winfrey 3e @Oprah I woke up feeling compelled to pray for our country. No matter your spiritual practice, I pray that we ALL remain safe and free from harm. Pray then #GoVOTE!人", Jordan Peele @JordanPeele Time to get out and vote

Results

In the Senate, Republicans held the chamber of Congress, picking up several Senate seats in contentious states, including Missouri and North Dakota, reaching the necessary 51 seat majority. However, the Democratic party retook the House of Representatives, ending the night with 220 seats.

As a result of the win, the Democrats gained more investigative power, allowing them to subpoena the president and his staff. However, by keeping the Senate, Republicans will be able to continue to confirm judges unabated.


AP くSenate House Governor > Republicans 193 Democrats 220 218 For majority Updated Nov. 7, 2018 11:51 a.m. EST

Some races, however, were too close to call by the end of the night. With 100% of the reporting in, the Florida Senate race between Rick Scott® and incumbent Bill Nelson (D) will be decided in a recount because the results were within a 0.5% margin.[15] Additionally, the contentious Georgia Governor's race between Brian Kemp and Stacy Abrams will likely go into a run-off election, asking voters to return to the polls in December 2018.[16] Abrams states that she is determined to make sure every vote is counted, and her campaign manager confirmed that "there are tens of thousands of absentee ballots around the state, many of them we believe are Abrams voters."

Historical Victories

The 2018 Midterms saw a record-breaking number of women being elected to the House. According to CNN,[17] "98 women would win House races, with 33 women newly elected to the House and 65 female incumbents. That bests the previous record of 85 representatives." In total, more than 100 women would be serving in the House in next year.

Additionally, Democrat Rashida Tlaib (Michigan) and Ilhan Omar (Minnesota) became the first Muslim women elected to Congress. Tlaib is also the first Palestinian woman elected to Congress.


Throughout the country, more historic victories were cemented. Colorado elected the country's first openly gay governor Democrat Jared Polis. In his victory speech, he said, "I want to thank … my personal support network -- first and foremost, of course, my amazing partner, and the first 'first man' in the history of Colorado, Marlon Reis." The Texas electorate sent their first to Latinas to Congress, Former El Paso County Judge Veronica Escobar and State Senator Sylvia Garcia. Finally, Massachusetts elected it's first black woman representative, Ayanna Pressley from the states 7th district,[19]

#NoMenMidterms

#NoMenMidterms and #LetWomenDecide are hashtags associated with a hoax campaign orchestrated by 4chan users encouraging liberal men to abstain from voting in the 2018 midterm elections.

On July 17th, 2018, a thread was submitted to 4chan's /pol/ board about a hoax campaign to spread photoshopped images encouraging "liberal men" to abstain from voting in the upcoming midterm elections (shown below).


[365 102 151] Anonymous ID: fe8ZtFYi Tue 17 Jul 2018 18:32:20 No.179132048 View Reply Original Report Quoted By: >>179132299 >>179132914 >>179134395 >>179134573 >>179137479 >>179138209 179139263 >>179140465 >>179140526 >>179140579 >179140583 >179140714 >179140895 >>179141989 >>179142069 >>179142275 179142562 >179142617 >>179143461 >>179144258>>179144324 179144526 >>179144985 >>179145265 >>179146270 >>179146291 >179146677 > >179146726>>179146731 >>179146736 >>179147003 >179147477 >179147568 >>179148439 >>179148615 >>179149109 179149194 >>179149930 >>179150262 >>179150375>179150739 179150907 >>179150974 >>179151604 >>179152094 >>179152671 >179153035 > >179153243>>179153416 >>179153639 >>179153803 179154921 Men, it's time to step aside and let Women make the big decisions. РА DEMOCRATS #NoMenMidterms New campaign to stop liberal men from voting in the mid terms 398KiB, 600x600, kek.png View Same Google iqdb SauceNAO Anonymous ID:fe8ZtFYi Tue 17 Jul 2018 18:32:43 No.179132097 Quoted By >>179151249 Report Let me know what you think, ideas, make your own, spread etc View Same Google iqdb SauceNAO Untitled-1.png, 15KiB, 600x600 Anonymous ID: fe8ZtFYi Tue 17 Jul 2018 18:34:26 No. 179132288Report Quoted By: >>179133137 >>179137621 >>179145633 >179151698

Register to Vote Roll

Register to Vote Roll is a bait and switch prank in which a social media post advertises a viral or sensational news story, essentially clickbait, but the included link leads to a voter registration form.


Welp...it's official...Kim Kardashian finally decided to divorce Kanye West... bit.ly/2de38pb

Me Voting in 2016 vs. Me Voting in 2018

Me Voting in 2016 vs. Me Voting in 2018 refers to a series of tweets which spread prior to the 2018 United States midterm elections in which users post two pictures representing how they felt in the 2016 United States Presidential Election versus how they feel voting in the 2018 United States midterm elections. The pictures were generally two images of the same character with the latter showing a more haggard version.


Whitney Friedlander @loislane79 Follow Me voting in 2016 vs. Me if we don't vote in 2018 #VoteTuesday darthTM @darth Following me voting in 2016 vs. me voting in 2018 5:42 PM 5 Nov 2018 Liz Eagle C @peculiarliz Follow ) Me voting in 2016 vs voting in 2018 6:00 PM 5 Nov 2018

Democrat/Republican Agenda Photoshops

On November 6th, Twitter[7] user @JordanUhl tweeted two blank screens from a screenshot of CNN with the titles "Democrat Agenda" and "Republican Agenda." They captioned the tweet, "Let's have some fun. Send me your best ones." The tweet received more than 70 retweets and 450 likes in 24 hours (shown below).


Let's have some fun. Send me your best ones. EMOCRAT AGENDA EPUBLICAN AGENDA DAY DAY AGENDA IF DEMOCRATS WIN BIG TONIGNDA IF REPUBLICANS WIN BIG TONI

Over the next few hours, people used the screens to create mock "agendas" for each party, exaggerating their understanding of each party and presenting those feelings visually (example below).

That day, Twitter[8] published a Moments page about the photoshops.


DEMOCRAT AGENDEPUBLICAN AGENDA ECTION DAY N DAY ERAL AGENDA IF DEMOCRATS WIN BIENDA IF REPUBLICANS WIN BIG TONI DEMOCRAT AGENEPUBLICAN AGENDA ELECTION DAY N DAY IBERAL AGENDA IF DEMOCRATS WIN ENDA IF REPUBLICANS WIN BIG TONI EMOCRAT AGENDA EPUBLICAN AGENDA MAL DAY N DAY GENDA IF DEMOCRATS WIN BIG TONICNDA IF REPUBLICANS WIN BIG TONI

External References

[1] Wikipedia – United States elections, 2018

[2] Vanity Fair – Get Over Your Election-Needle P.T.S.D.: The Blue Wave Is Real, and It’s a Monster

[3] FiveThirtyEight – 2018 House Forecast | FiveThirtyEight

[4] Wikipedia – Beto O'Rourke

[5] Facebook – JakeGyllenhaal's Post

[6] Twitter – @theblaze's Post

[7] Twitter – @JordanUhl's Tweet

[8] Twitter – Photoshop fun with the Republican and Democrat agendas

[9] Twitter – Celebrities head to the polls to vote in the midterm elections

[10] Twitter – @Michelle Obama

[11] Twitter – @Oprah's Tweet

[12] Twitter – @JordanPeele's Tweet

[13] The Washington Post – Broken machines, rejected ballots and long lines: voting problems emerge as Americans go to the polls.

[14] Associated Press – Cruz fends off O’Rourke in Texas Senate race

[15] HuffPost – Florida Senate Race Headed Toward Recount

[16] HuffPost – Georgia Governor’s Election Is Too Close To Call

[17] CNN – Record number of women elected to the House

[18] HuffPost – Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar Win, Become First Muslim Women Elected To Congress

[19] Jezebel – A Lot of History Got Made Last Night

[20] Instagram – @beyonce's Post

[21] Twitter – @tigergood_s's Tweet

[22] Twitter – @ayandoesthings's Tweet

[23] Twitter – "@pettyblackgirI's Tweet"":https://twitter.com/pettyblackgirI/status/1060018191206772737

[24] THE PEOPLE'S STATION V103 -VOTER PURGE: Your Name Might Be On This Investigative Reporter's List of Georgia Voters Who've Been Removed From Registration

[25] Truthout – Georgia’s Kemp Purged 340,134 Voters, Falsely Asserting They Had Moved

[26] Rolling Stone – Number of Georgia Voters Purged by Brian Kemp Continues to Climb

[27] Greg Palast – GEORGIA VOTER PURGE LIST 2018

[28] Rolling Stone – Exclusive: In Leaked Audio, Brian Kemp Expresses Concern Over Georgians Exercising Their Right to Vote

[29] CNN – Hear racist robocall targeting Abrams, Oprah

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