The 2018 elections marked a notable increase in the influence of ideological media over both major American parties. Conservative media sources, led by Fox News Channel, further solidified their power within the Republican Party, maintaining their traditional role of informing and mobilizing Republican voters while extending their reach to become densely integrated with Republican elites, especially President Trump. At the same time, deep antipathy to the Trump presidency among Democratic voters produced a surge in popular demand for overtly liberal media programming and information about the 2018 elections, leading to extensive citizen engagement (especially online) and record grassroots fundraising totals for Democratic candidates. The events of 2018 thus furthered two important long-term trends – the ideological polarization of the parties and the nationalization of American elections – that continue to define our contemporary political era.
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