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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter February 27, 2019

Donald Trump, Nationalization, and the 2018 Midterm Elections

Jamie L. Carson and Aaron A. Hitefield
From the journal The Forum


The 2018 midterm elections resulted in record levels of turnout, campaign funding, and the representation of women and minorities in Congress. Moreover, Democrats regained control of the US House of Representatives while Republicans shored up their minimal majority in the Senate. What made such a historic outcome possible? This article examines the candidates, expectations, outcomes, and implications of the 2018 midterm elections. In doing so, it offers an analysis into the primary elections, suggesting that the 2018 midterm results in the House were largely a result of successful nominations of quality Democratic candidates who were able to capitalize on the unpopularity of President Donald Trump despite an otherwise strong national economy. It closes with an in-depth analysis into the implications of the 2018 midterm election on both the incoming 116th Congress as well as the upcoming 2020 Presidential election.


We thank Jordan McKissick for assistance with data collection on congressional primaries and Ryan Williamson for helpful comments and suggestions on the paper.


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Published Online: 2019-02-27
Published in Print: 2018-12-19

©2018 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston