Here’s Everything You Need To Know About Today’s US Midterm Elections

As you are no doubt aware, thanks to the legions of celebrities imploring their followers to get out there and vote, our friends the Americans are hitting the polls today. They’re doing it right now, taking their lunch break at work – because they are a barbarous nation which cruelly rejects the sheer euphoria of voting on Saturday – to go and make democracy happen. That’s right, folks, it’s the US midterm elections – also known, helpfully, as the midterms.

What are they voting for? What are the stakes? What is the United States of America, and what mysterious people live there? Is Bigfoot real? I’m here to answer all those questions for you.

What are the midterm elections?

The midterm elections are so named because they happen in the middle of a presidential term. This is the very first electoral test of Donald Trump‘s presidency.

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No, Trump is obviously not up for election today. But lots of federal offices are. Every single seat in the House of Representatives is being contested today, as well as 35 of 50 Senate seats and 39 governorships. A variety of other state and local offices, as well as various ballot initiatives, are all going to to the polls today. To put it short: it’s a big voting day, and everyone’s analysing it as a response to Trump.

Are the midterm elections going to be bad for Trump?

Almost certainly. And that’s not necessarily a reflection on the man himself – it’s pretty normal for voters to go against the party of the sitting president in the midterms. Over the past 21 midterm elections, the president’s party has lost an average of 30 seats in the House, and 4 or so seats in the Senate. It happens to everyone.

But obviously the Trump presidency has not been entirely normal. Early indications show that voting turnout is way, way up – midterms usually don’t bring numbers nearly as high as presidential elections. It seems that Democrats are very keen to repudiate Trump, and Republicans are incredibly keen to protect him.

What are the likely outcomes of the midterms, and what do they mean?

Barring something like an alien invasion or the accidental detonation of a nuclear weapon, these are the three possible outcomes from today. Reminder – the current situation is that Republicans hold the presidency, the House of Representatives and the Senate.

  1. Democrats take the House, but don’t take the Senate. This currently seems like the most likely outcome according to experts and polls. This will suck for Trump. It’ll make it much harder for the Republicans to pass legislation without being bipartisan, and House Democrats will probably use all the investigative capabilities of the House against Trump.
  2. Democrats take the House and the Senate. Probably isn’t going to happen. But if it did, Trump would be very angry and would do tweets about voter fraud, which he’s probably going to do regardless of outcome. Democrats would unleash hell on the presidency with the power of both legislative houses, and may even move for impeachment.
  3. Republicans keep the House and the Senate. This is also not backed up by polling, but it’s possible. Trump would be very happy about this, and would probably do some all-caps tweets about it. He would consider a vindication of the past two years, and he’d double down on his agenda.

What are the midterm races people are keeping their eyes on?

Obviously, some electoral battles are getting more attention than others, for whatever reason.

Probably the most widely covered is the contest for the Senate seat in Texas. The current contender, Ted Cruz, is widely hated by progressives for his extreme conservatism, and also because he strongly resembles some kind of awful deep-sea creature.

His challenger is Democrat Beto O’Rourke, who is a Congressman and cool skater guy who used to be in a punk band. He faces a pretty tough uphill battle despite the massive media coverage in his favour – no Democrat has been elected to statewide office in Texas since 1994. My take? Cruz is going to win by a solid margin, but not the double-digit lead he should be getting in Texas. Let’s say he’ll win by like 5-7 points.

Also getting a lot of attention is the governor’s race in Florida, between Republican candidate Ron DeSantis and young progressive challenger Andrew Gillum. Gillum is the first ever black nominee for Florida governor, and his platform puts him to the left of the Democratic Party as a whole.

Would you say it’s time for everyone to crack each other’s heads open and feast on the goo inside?

Yes I would, Kent.