The following are indicators of the atmosphere in which the 2018 election was conducted.

The preference for the outcome of the November congressional elections was perfectly pegged in the NBC/WSJ survey of November 1-3.

Among likely voters, the preference was Democratic control 50%, Republican control 43%. There was little difference among registered voters where the preference is Democratic control 49% and Republican control 43%.

38% thought the country was headed in the right direction while 54% thought it was on the wrong track.

The President’s job approval number was 46%/52% disapproval. The President had a positive feelings rating of 41%/52% negative.

The Republican party had a positive rating of 40%/45% negative, the Democratic party had a positive rating of 38%/43% negative.

40% of potential voters said their vote would be a signal of opposition to Trump. 32% said their vote would be a signal of support for Trump.

68% are satisfied with the state of the U.S. economy today. 74% are satisfied with their own financial situation today. [NBC/WSJ, 11/3/18]

By the time it’s over, the 2018 midterms will have smashed the previous midterm spending record with candidates spending a combined $5.2 billion, according to a projection by the Center for Responsive Politics. The previous record for midterm spending was about $4.2 billion in 2010, adjusted for inflation.

44 percent of U.S. firms gave workers paid time off to vote on Election Day, up from 37 percent in 2016. This is a perfect opportunity to point out there is absolutely no reason Election Day is not a national holiday or held on a weekend, as it is in most democracies, particularly when in 2014, 35 percent of registered voters who did not vote said they couldn’t because of work or school obligations. [Bloomberg]

The 2018 Election Scoreboard

U.S. Senate

Before the 2018 Election 51 Republicans/49 Democrats
After the 2018 Election 53 Republicans/47 Democrats

U.S. House

Before the 2018 Election 240 Republicans/195 Democrats
After the 2018 Election 198 Republicans/232 Democrats

The following is the CNN/PEW exit poll for the 2018 election.

  Democrats Republicans
Men 47 51
College 47 51
Non-college 32 66
Women 59 50
College 59 39
Non-college 42 56
White 44 54
Men 39 60
Women 49 48
Black 90 9
Hispanics 69 29
Asian 77 23
18-29 67 32
30-44 58 39
45-64 49 50
65+ 48 50

According to the AP VoteCast survey:

Women supported Democratic candidates by 57% to 41%
Men supported Republican candidates by 61% to 46%.

About Women

A record 256 women – 197 Democrats and 59 Republicans – ran for federal public office. 234 women ran for House seats and 22 women ran for Senate seats.

In the new House class there are 13 Republican women and 89 Democratic women.

U.S. Senate

Before the 2018 Election 17 Democrats/6 Republicans
After the 2018 Election 16 Democrats/6 Republicans (1 seat not decided)

U.S. House

Before the 2018 Election 64 Democrats/ 25 Republicans
After the 2018 Election 90 Democrats/15 Republicans

19 black women ran for Texas county judge posts. All of them won.

The following is a chart comparing presidential approval on election day and the net Senate and House changes in that election.

President Mid-term Pres. Approval Election Day Net House Net Senate
Carter (D) 1978 52% – 15 Dem – 3 Dem
Reagan (R) 1982 43% – 26 GOP – 1 GOP
Bush 41 (R) 1990 58% – 8 GOP – 1 GOP
Clinton (D) 1994 46% – 52 Dem – 8 Dem
Bush 43 (R) 2002 63% + 8 GOP + 2 GOP
Obama (D) 2010 45% – 63 Dem – 6 Dem
Trump (R) 2018 40% – xx GOP + 2 GOP
[Akin Gump]


Before the 2018 Election 33 Republicans/16 Democrats/1 Independent
After the 2018 Election 27 Republicans/ 23 Democrats

State Legislatures and Legislators

6 legislative chambers flipped from Republican to Democrat.

Minnesota is the only state in the nation where the legislature is divided. The Senate remains in Republican control and the House flipped to the Democrats. (The last time there was only one divided state legislature was in 1914.)

In 2008 there were 3,307 Republican legislators & 3,993 Democratic legislators

In 2010 there were 3,248 Republican legislators & 4,044 Democratic legislators

In 2015 there were 4,126 Republican legislators & 3,170 Democratic legislators

In 2018 there were 4,134 Republican legislators & 3,123 Democratic legislators

In the 2018 election roughly 350 Republican legislative seats flipped to Democrat.

In 2019 there will be 3,784 Republican legislators & 3,473 Democratic legislators.
(subject to some change)

A Summary of the 2018 election.

“What the Democrats have yet to grapple with is what they need to do next and what is their strategy and message for 2019 and 2020. The victories that were hard fought and won deserve commendation, it was not won with a true national strategy or message.” [Peter Hart]

Voter participation in the 2018 election was 49.2%. This was the highest level of midterm voter participation since 1914 when participation was at 50.4%.

Minnesota had the highest level of voter participation this year at 64.3%.

Hispanic participation in 2018 hit 11.0%, the highest level of participation recorded in a midterm election. The previous high was 7.0% in 2014. [Mehlman Castagnetti]

Voter turnout in 2018 of 115.8 million was 28% higher than any previous mid-term election. The previous high turnout was 90,682,000 in 2010.

2018 115,800,000
2014 81,687,000
2010 90,682,000
2006 80,588,000
2002 79,830,000
1998 73,117,000

Of the 42 House seats that have been flipped by the Democrats – 67% of them contain a Whole Foods Market. None of the 3 seats flipped by the Republicans contain a Whole Foods Market.

Of the many changes in the political leadership of various congressional districts, one drew my attention more than others. It is the 3rd district of Minnesota, a collection of cities in the near suburbs of Minneapolis.

The district has been in the hands of Republicans since January 1961. The most recent incumbent is Congressman Erik Paulsen, who has represented the district since January 2009. In the just completed election, Democrat Dean Phillips defeated Paulsen garnering 55.72% of the vote.

You may be wondering why I am focused on this district. Here is the story.

I graduated from the University of Minnesota Law School in June of 1964 without setting any records. As I started looking for a job, I submitted an application to the Minnesota Attorney General, a fellow named Walter Mondale. I received a letter of rejection as fast as the post office could deliver it. Turns out they were only hiring folks who were on Law Review.

As I studied for the bar, I started doing some volunteer work in the Minneapolis congressional district. On one particular afternoon I was sent to a meeting being organized by Mondale who was the “Johnson for President” chairman in Minnesota.

During the course of the meeting, Mondale mentioned that they had not been able to find anyone to organize the registration and vote drive in the 3rd congressional district. The democratic congressional candidate running was a man named Richard Parrish who was not given much of a chance to win.

At the end of the meeting I went up to the front of the room and asked Mondale whether he would give me a job in his office if I went out and organized a registration and vote drive in the 3rd district and did a credible job. In desperation, he said yes.

The following Monday, I started work in the 3rd district. Without extending the story I apparently did a decent job. The Monday after the election I showed up at Mondale’s office and he gave me a job as a Special Assistant Attorney General. Shortly thereafter Mondale was appointed by the governor to fill Humphrey’s seat in the U.S. Senate. I stayed in the Attorney General’s office. And thus began my career in politics.

There was a new player in the Democratic electoral structure in the 2018 election: Mobilize America, a platform to connect campaigns with volunteers created by Alfred Johnson and Allen Kramer. Below is a summary of the organization’s impact on the 2018 election.

776,196 volunteer shifts
363,637 shifts completed on behalf of candidates for the U.S. House
383,813 unique volunteers taking action
36.5 “million” unique voter contact attempts