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

Evaluating Candidate Positioning and Success in the 2018 Midterm Elections

Ryan D. Williamson
From the journal The Forum


The 2018 House midterm elections saw Democrats regain a majority in the chamber for the first time in almost a decade. Contributing to this partisan change was the difficult situation Republican House incumbents were subject to. This article will examine the different factors contributing to the Republicans’ loss including the role of ideology in candidate success in both the primary and general election stage, the effects of retirements and open seats, and the value of presidential endorsements and legislative position taking.


Campbell, James E. 2018. “Introduction: Forecasting the 2018 US Midterm Elections.” PS: Political Science & Politics 51: 1–3.Search in Google Scholar

Carson, Jamie, and Ryan D. Williamson. 2018. “Candidate Ideology and Electoral Success in Congressional Elections.” Public Choice 176: 175–192.Search in Google Scholar

Cox, Gary W., and Jonathan N. Katz. 1996. “Why did the incumbency advantage in U.S. House elections grow?” American Journal of Political Science 40 (May): 478–497.Search in Google Scholar

Gaddie, R. Keith, and Charles S. Bullock. 2000. Elections to Open Seats in the US House: Where the Action Is. Lanham, MD, USA: Rowman & Littlefield.Search in Google Scholar

Hall, Andrew B. 2015. “What Happens When Extremists Win Primaries?” American Political Science Review 109 (1): 18–42.Search in Google Scholar

Hassell, Hans J. G. 2018. The Party’s Primary: Control of Congressional Nominations. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.Search in Google Scholar

Jacobson, Gary C. 2015. “It’s Nothing Personal: The Decline of the Incumbency Advantage in US House Elections.” Journal of Politics 77 (3): 861–873.Search in Google Scholar

Jacobson, Gary, and Jamie Carson. 2016. Politics of Congressional Elections. Landham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.Search in Google Scholar

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

©2018 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston