Americans who believe we’re in a political crisis know November 6 is the chance to take back the country. One chamber of the legislature, however, presents a much more promising opportunity.
The House of Representatives is primed to flip, in part as a reaction to President Donald Trump but also because of a wave of strong Democratic candidates — particularly women.
“Presidents help set the table for a midterm, and the president’s party usually suffers losses (at least in the House) in midterms,” Kyle Kondik, Managing Editor of the nonpartisan Sabato's Crystal Ball out of the UVA Center for Politics, told Refinery29. “Trump is so polarizing and unpopular — particularly in some key battleground House districts — that he might be making the GOP’s job of holding the House harder than another hypothetical Republican president would have."
The chance of flipping the Senate are slim; Democrats would have to win 80% of all the seats up for election this year (28 of 35).
But in the House (where all 435 seats are up for grabs and 48 are considered competitive), the landscape is almost perfect; Democrats need to flip 25 seats, and 24 of the Republican-represented seats are districts that voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.
But it’s not just about the chances — it’s about the vote. The movement to get people to the polls is stronger than ever, and it’s working. Nearly a fifth of registered voters (about 37 million people) cast ballots in the House primary elections, a 56% increase over the 2014 turnout. What’s even more significant is that these new midterm voters were primarily Democrats. While Republican primary turnout for the House increased by 1.2%, Democratic turnout spiked 4.6%.
Looking at women specifically, twice as many said they’ll be voting Democrat than said they’ll vote Republican, and 30 to 43% (depending on age bracket) said they’re “enthusiastic” to vote in November. This is a significant jump from the last midterm, in which only 15% cited the same enthusiasm. They have plenty of women to vote for, too.
“2018 could be the first year in history Americans elect more than 100 women to the House, and it’s all being powered by Democrats,” Dave Wasserman, U.S. House editor of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, told Refinery29.
Across the country, women candidates for the House are making waves and providing some of the best chances to turn it blue. Here, we’re digging deeper into ten of these races and tapping Wasserman and Kodik for their latest predictions.