Brookings is your resource to help make sense of the 2018 midterm elections.
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November 4, 2018

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The U.S. midterm elections are this Tuesday—here's what you need to know. 

From research on youth and minority voters to expert analysis on Senate races across the country, the Brookings Institution is your resource to make sense of the 2018 midterm elections—both now and after the votes are cast. 

Still need to register to vote or find a polling location? Visit for information on your state.

Brookings on the Midterms

Cynthia Lazo, 25, votes in the U.S. congressional and gubernatorial midterm elections in Norwalk, California, United States, October 24, 2018. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson - RC1EEBF1A1D0
FILE PHOTO: Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-TX) looks on as he listens to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) during a debate for Texas U.S. Senate seat at the Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, U.S., September 21, 2018. Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo   NO RESALES. MANDATORY CREDIT. - RC182E321AB0
A "I Voted" sticker is shown by a keyboard in the Voting Machine Hacking Village during the Def Con hacker convention in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. on July 29, 2017. REUTERS/Steve Marcus - RC118719DD00

Upcoming Event

Results and implications of the 2018 midterm elections

Did a “blue wave” surge or fizzle? What governing challenges will America face under the new Congress? On November 8, Brookings experts will review the results of the midterm elections and provide analysis on the state of U.S. politics moving forward.


How health care and tax cuts could influence the election. In two new episodes of our 2018 midterms podcast series, Matthew Fiedler explains how candidate are talking about health care policy, while Vanessa Williamson assesses whether the Republican Party's tax cuts will have any effect on voters' choices.

Listen to more election-focused podcast episodes on our website, Spotify, or Apple Podcasts.

Democrats and Republicans express surprising views on trade, foreign policy, and immigration. Confused about where the two parties stand on some issues? Data from the Primaries Project at Brookings suggests there may be good reason for that.

Are the 2018 midterm election polls accurate? For many, Donald Trump's surprise victory invalidated public polling. In a new video, William Galston discusses where the polls went wrong two years ago and the continued usefulness of public opinion surveys to gauge interest in issues that shape a candidate’s campaign.  


The groups behind a “blue wave.” President Trump will not be on the ballot on Tuesday, but both his supporters and detractors are likely to vote as if he were. William Frey examines possible turnout scenarios for key groups who have historically opposed Trump’s policies, including black and Hispanic Americans and women with college degrees.

How will the middle class vote? President Trump made a number of promises on taxes and trade to the American middle class, but it’s not clear that his actions—or lack thereof—will impact this group’s voting behavior. Richard Reeves argues we should look for only modest changes in the voting patterns of the American middle class. 

Youth could determine the elections—if they turn out. An estimated 8 million more Americans are eligible to vote this year than in 2016. Andre Perry highlights the issues driving young adults to the polls and several voter suppression efforts that have aimed to shut them out.

Candidates and Regions

The Heartland is central to the midterms and America's future. While the American Heartland accounts for 30 percent of the nation’s population, it is represented by 38 senators and 19 governors—many of whom are in close races on Tuesday. Robert Maxim and Mark Muro discuss the region’s outsized role in the midterms and in closing the divides of American politics.  

Forgotten Americans in the 2018 midterm elections. On the Cafeteria podcast, Isabel Sawhill addresses the country's economic, cultural, and political divisions, and describes what she learned by talking with Americans in three cities.

What campaign finance filings can tell us about the coming election. On October 15, House and Senate candidates filed their final reports on fundraising. Michael Malbin explains what they reveal—and don’t—about the potentially historic nature of this election.  

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