The 2018 Midterm Elections in Photos

2018 Midterm Elections Cover
A woman dressed as a suffragette casts her vote in Polk County, Iowa. Getty Images

The U.S. midterm elections rarely garner as much attention as the presidential races, but this cycle has been one of the most watched in years: After two years of being muzzled by Republican majorities, Democrats are hoping to flip the House and mount a reasonable offense against the GOP. 

For many, Election Day 2018 is really a vote on Donald Trump—his policies, his appointments, his rhetoric. Though the presidential elections are two years off, he’s been hitting the campaign trail hard to bolster Republicans in crucial states. 

One of the most watched races is in Texas, where Democrat Beto O’Rourke hopes to unseat GOP stalwart Senator Ted Cruz. Though most polls favor Cruz, O’Rourke has benefited from high-profile endorsers and a savvy media strategy, and more recent polls do show him closing the gap.

"The enthusiasm is absolutely real," Harris County Democratic Chairwoman Lillie Schechter told The Texas Tribune. "Our statewide polling and now our turnout demonstrates that Democrats all over the state are not happy with the Republican leadership and are demanding changes.”

GOP political consultant Brendan Steinhauser told the paper a Republican surge was fueling early turnout in Texas. "Everyone's on the same page in that they're taking every race up and down the ballot seriously. Everybody's sprinting through the finish line in a way that I haven't seen since I've been working elections here.”

But even beyond partisanship, Tuesday’s elections are also an opportunity for our government to bring women, people of color, LGBT Americans and other minorities into the political system, some for the first time. In Georgia, Democrat Stacey Abrams is hoping to become the first African-American woman elected governor. While in Florida, Democratic Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum is vying to become Florida's first black governor.  

And more Americans are invested in the very act of voting than ever before. Perhaps because of the threat of foreign interference or voter suppression or voter fraud. Or because the stakes just seem so high. In Iowa, a group of Democrats dressed as suffragettes marched to the Polk County Courthouse to vote on October 8, the first day of early voting in the state. 

“Our grandmothers marched for the right to vote, for being left out of the political discussion and we feel that women here a century later have the same complaints,” said Allison Engel of Windsor Heights. “Women need to mobilize and vote and have a blue wave this November."

Click through the slideshow below for a visual diary of the 2018 midterm elections.

 

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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Representative Ben Ray Lujan (D-MN), DCCC Chairman, celebrate a projected Democratic Party takeover of the House of Representatives during a midterm election night party hosted by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on November 7, 2018 in Washington, DC. 

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A smartphone shows a tweet by President Donald Trump saying 'Tremendous success tonight' after most of the result of the US midterm elections were called by US Media on November 06, 2018 in Washington, DC. 

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JoAnn Loulan, center, reacts with her mother-in-law, Sydney Crawford, at left, after Democrats gained control of the House of Representatives during the 2018 midterm election results during a DCCC election watch party at the Hyatt Regency on November 6, 2018 in Washington, DC. 

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People cheer during a midterm election night party hosted by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, on November 6, 2018 in Washington, DC.

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People take photos of the Fox News television screens as they wait for results at the Ohio Republican Party's election night party at the Sheraton Capitol Square on November 6, 2018 in Columbus, Ohio.

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Rev. Jesse Jackson stands with Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams outside the Busy Bee Cafe on November 6, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia.

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U.S. Rep. John Culberson (R-TX) greets a supporter outside the Rummel Creek Elementary polling place on November 6, 2018 in Houston, Texas.

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Abigail Spanberger, Democratic candidate for Virginia’s Seventh District in the U.S. House of Representatives, kisses her daughter Catherine (R) while voting at Deep Run High School November 6, 2018 in Richmond, Virginia.

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Baby Lola, who is 8 months old, is seen with an 'I voted' sticker near the Venice Beach Lifeguard station in California on November 6.

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House minority leader Nancy Pelosi of California at a press conference at Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington, D.C. on November 6.

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Firefighters outside the Metropolitan Multi-Service Center polling place encourage voters to vote on a proposition that would raise their pay, on November 6, in Houston.