Mexico, Missouri, Montana, Midterms and More: 18 Elections to Watch in 2018

Millions of people worldwide will vote in elections this year, from presidential races in Egypt and Russia to state legislatures in the U.S.—some that could change how we're governed for decades to come. With dozens of elections in 2018, it’s difficult to tell which ones to pay particular attention to. Here is your guide to 18 of the most consequential elections in 2018.

GettyImages-896502542 Millions of people worldwide will vote in elections this year, from presidential races in Egypt and Russia to state legislatures in the U.S. JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images

  1. Arizona midterm, Tuesday, November 6
    Republican Senator Jeff Flake, an unwavering critic of President Donald Trump, will not run for re-election. Arizona is one of the Democrats’ best opportunities to pick up a Republican-held seat. The likely Democratic nominee will be Representative Kyrsten Sinema, the first openly bisexual person to be elected to Congress. On the Republican side, Dr. Kelli Ward and Representative Martha McSally will likely both try for the seat.
  2. Brazilian general election, October 7 and October 28
    Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff was impeached and removed from office last year, former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was convicted of money-laundering over the summer, and President Michel Temer was formally accused of obstruction of justice. Even so, "Lula" (da Silva) is leading in the polls. 
  3. Egypt’s presidential election, sometime between February and May
    Egypt has had a wild past few elections. In July 2013, the current Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ousted his predecessor, Mohammed Morsi, in a military coup. Sisi was elected with more than 95 percent of the vote. Since April 2016, Egyptians have been living in a state of emergency, with widespread human rights abuses. The Trump administration has cut $100 million in military and economic aid to Egypt, and with Sisi’s popularity slipping, the election could be worth watching.
  4. Florida midterms, Tuesday, November 6
    Bill Nelson, a Democratic senator, is running for re-election in a state that went for Trump last year. That already is an uphill battle for the politician, but he’s also expected to face Governor Rick Scott, a well-known figure with a lot of political power. However, with Trump’s approval rating continuing to drop, there’s a chance Nelson could come out on top.
  5. Indiana midterms, Tuesday, November 6
    Joe Donnelly, a Democratic senator, barely won in 2012. Now he’s campaigning in a state that voted for Trump 57-38 percent in the presidential election. Moreover, he’s the only elected Democrat in the entire state. A big pool of Republicans are fighting for the chance to bring him down, but with Trump’s approval ratings hitting new lows nearly every month, they may not have the opportunity.
  6. Iraqi parliamentary election, May 12
    Iraq is still reeling from the constant spectre of violence, Islamic State militant group threats, disputes between the two major Shia-dominated parties and more. As Iraqi voters head to the polls to choose a new parliament, their neighbors are expected to push the election in whichever direction they prefer. Even if there isn’t much outside effect on the election, which is unlikely, the new politicians will be forced to put together a stable government under increasingly unstable conditions.
  7. Mexican presidential election, July 1
    Trump wants to build a border wall, and he wants Mexico to pay for it. So who will be on the other side of the wall, potentially fighting back? It could be Andrés Manuel López Obrador, a former Mexico City mayor, who has run, and lost, the past two elections. This time he has an arsenal of anger pointed toward Trump, promising to fight his “poisonous, hateful, xenophobic” policy toward Mexico. Running against him are Margarita Zavala (or “Mexican Hillary”), Ricardo Anaya Cortés and José Antonio Meade Kuribreña. All four candidates are representing major parties and could change the political landscape of the U.S’s southern border policies.
  8. Missouri midterms, Tuesday, November 6
    Trump made it clear in November that he did not want Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill to win re-election, ensuring that this race is sure to garner national attention. He asked a conservative Springfield crowd to vote McCaskill out if she didn’t support his tax plan; despite that, she still didn’t back the plan. The state voted for Trump 57-38, girding the candidate for an aggressive election season.
  9. Montana midterms, Tuesday, November 6
    Senator Jon Tester, a Montana Democrat, is likely to set his sights on re-election in a state Trump won bigly, with a congressman who won after he physically assaulted a reporter. He’ll be running against state Auditor Matt Rosendale, and it doesn’t look very good for Tester. However, he’s scandal-free and well funded, so even in a conservative state he has a shot, no matter how slim it is.
  10. Nevada midterms, Tuesday, November 6
    Republican Dean Heller is looking for re-election in a swing state that voted him into office by just one point. One of his Democratic challengers, Representative Jacky Rosen, flipped Nevada’s 3rd District to blue in 2016. But Heller also has to deal with a GOP primary challenger in Danny Tarkanian, a Trump conservative.
  11. North Dakota midterms, Tuesday, November 6
    North Dakota voted heavily for Trump in the 2016 elections, forcing Democrat Heidi Heitkamp to distinguish herself from the Democratic party while also furthering herself from the president. Multiple Republicans have come forward to run against her, but Heitkamp hasn’t actually confirmed her bid for re-election. No Democrats have said they plan on running if she doesn’t, leaving the seat vulnerable to a Republican flip.
  12. Ohio midterms, Tuesday, November 6
    Democrat Sherrod Brown and Republican state Treasurer Josh Mandel are likely to face off again in Ohio, but under wildly different political circumstances. In 2012, Brown defeated Mandel by about six points in one of the most expensive Senate contests that year, according to USA Today. Both have unique new challenges: Mandel with a primary challenger, and Brown with voters who abandoned the Democratic party in favor of Trump.
  13. Pakistani general election, within 90 days of June 5
    Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, of the Pakistan Muslim League, resigned in July amid allegations of corruption, making an already interesting election that much more potent. Before his resignation, his party was in the right position to win another election—but now its future is murkier than ever. The winner of the election will likely be whichever party has the backing of the Pakistani army and the United States, but between the Pakistan People’s Party and the Pakistan Movement for Justice party, there isn’t a clear answer. And there’s plenty at state during this election—2018 is only the second time in Pakistan’s history that there will be a democratic transition of power.
  14. Pennsylvania midterms, Tuesday, November 6
    Democrats think he’s moving too far to the right. Republicans think he’s moving too far to the left. Will Democratic Senator Bob Casey ever reach his Goldilocks moment for re-election? Not sure. In a state that voted pretty evenly for Trump and Hillary Clinton in 2016, Casey will have to put in a lot of work to beat out several Republican opposition candidates, including Republican Representative Lou Barletta, a strong Trump supporter.
  15. Russian presidential election, March 18
    Place your bets early: President Vladimir Putin will likely win re-election in Russia. But there’s still good reason to watch it all unfold. Alexei Navalny, a prominent opposition leader, can’t run because he was convicted for “economic crimes.” Ksenia Sobchak, the daughter of Putin’s political mentor and a former reality star, might run, though. She’s Kremlin-approved and has reportedly promised Putin that she won't criticize him on the campaign trail. While Putin will likely take his fourth four-year term in 2018, it will be interesting to see how his political enemies, and the Russian public, respond.
  16. West Virginia midterm, Tuesday, November 6
    West Virginia is going through a political party reckoning. After Trump won in the state 68-26 in the 2016 presidential election, Democratic Governor Jim Justice switched to the Republican Party “so he could be more helpful to the president,” according to USA Today. Then there’s Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, who has a pretty good personal relationship with the president but refuses to switch party alignments. He won his last race by 24 points, but Representative Evan Jenkins, another West Virginia Democrat-turned-Republican, will give him a powerful run in 2018.
  17. Wisconsin midterm, Tuesday, November 6
    Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin is a big target for the GOP. Republicans dominate the state legislature, most of the U.S. House seats, gubernatorial elections and even Senate seats. Republican Representative Sean Duffy, Senator Leah Vukmir, Eric Hovde and Kevin Nicholson have all announced their candidacies.
  18. Special elections
    Sexual misconduct scandals felled Senator Al Franken and Representative John Conyers Jr., necessitating special elections. Conyers has already resigned, and Franken said he would leave Congress January 2. But amid the #MeToo movement, will Americans see more politicians ruined by sexual misconduct allegations?