A quick guide to the 2018 midterms

The 2018 midterms are getting more attention than other non-presidential election years for a number of reasons.

Voter turnout is expected to be higher than four years ago, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll. And, this election could mark a historically large shift in Congress and governorships. In the House and Senate, more than 70 members are not seeking another term, lost in a primary or are running for a different office.

A record number of women—184 in total—are running for the first time or for a higher office. A significant number of minority candidates are on the ballot, too.

cover photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images, Jessica McGowan/Getty Images

These are the races that are garnering national attention and the storylines that will be prominent when all the ballots are counted on Nov. 7th. Tap through to see what races to keep an eye on.

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I. Potentially historic governor races


There are currently 33 Republican state governors, but Democrats are looking to flip some on Nov. 6. Two of the more intriguing races are in Florida and Georgia.

If Democrat Stacey Abrams defeats Republican Brian Kemp in Georgia, she would be the first woman and African American to hold the office. In Florida, Andrew Gillum (D) is running against Ron DeSantis (R) and could become its first black governor if he wins.

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II. Close Senate races

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Of the 35 Senate races this year, 10 could potentially flip parties, according to The Fix’s Amber Phillips. There are close races in Wisconsin, Tennessee, West Virginia, Montana, Florida, Arizona, Missouri, Indiana, Nevada and North Dakota. It is likely that Republicans will maintain control of the Senate in 2019.

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III. But what about Texas?

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Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D) is challenging incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz (R) in Texas. Polling shows Cruz is likely to win re-election. But, O’Rourke is gaining national attention for the enthusiasm among his Democratic supporters. The former punk rocker turns to social media to broadcast his campaign in an effort to connect with younger voters. Whether he wins or loses, Beto O’Rourke has entered the national conversation as a contender for 2020.

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IV. Dems could take back the House

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Democrats are likely to get a majority of the seats in the House of Representatives in 2019. Of the 435 seats, 35 are potential Democratic pickups, according to The Fix’s Aaron Blake. Regardless, there will be a new Speaker of the House in January 2019. Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is not seeking re-election. If Republicans keep control of the House, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is the most likely next speaker. If Democrats win a majority, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) could reclaim the gavel.

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V. First-time female candidates

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Of the 184 non-incumbent female candidates who won during primaries, 162 are running for a seat in the House. It is an incredibly diverse group. Deb Haaland of New Mexico would be the first Native American woman elected to the House if she wins. Katie Arrington of South Carolina unseated incumbent Rep. Mark Sanford, and could be the only woman in that state’s delegation if she wins. Sharice Davids is Kansas’s first openly gay congressional candidate.

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