The Midterms Minute is a look at the candidates and races in battleground districts that you need to know about, shout about and support to make the biggest impact possible in the election on November 6th.
As of the release date of episode #1220, we are 18 days out from election day. That’s less than 3 weeks of volunteering left. Early voting is now open many states, so check out all early voting information by state, including the three vote by mail states.
Because we’re running out of time, we’re only highlighting battleground races that are considered toss ups from now on. However, information for ALL of the battleground races in the show notes at The Midterms Minute H.Q..
For the next two segments, we’re going to focus on toss up battleground races for the House that we haven’t covered yet. Republicans are defending the vast majority of seats in the battleground races across the country, but the so-called “red exodus” of Republican incumbents leaving office is in Democrats favor this year. Thirty seven Republican held seats are now open and, therefore, more likely to flip. To take the House, Democrats must flip 24 Republican seats.
Now, let’s dive into some toss ups….
IA-03: In Iowa’s 3rd district, Democratic small business owner Cindy Axne is challenging Republican incumbent Representative Rep. David Young. Obama won by four points here in 2012, but Trump won by 3 points. Young pissed off his constituents last year when, after saying he was opposed to Trumpcare, he voted for it at the last minute. He is now running unbelievably misleading ads that claim he “stood up to his party” to protect people with pre-existing conditions. Yeah, keep telling yourself that. Early voting in Iowa began October 8th.
KS-02: Kansas’ 2nd district is an open seat race. Former Democratic state house Minority Leader Paul Davis is facing Republican army veteran and engineer Steve Watkins. Trump won here by 19 points, but Davis, the Democrat, was recently endorsed by 36 Kansas state Republicans. One can only assume these are the Republicans that woke up to the severe damage extreme conservatism inflicted on their state. Early voting in Kansas began October 17th.
KY-06: In Kentucky’s 6th district, Democratic Marine Corps pilot Amy McGrath is challenging three-term Republican incumbent Rep. Andy Barr. Although Barr won his re-election in 2016 by more than 20 points, McGrath is a strong, nationally-admired challenger and is only behind in this deep red district by 2 points - within the margin of error. Of course, Barr is trying to paint McGrath as a “radical” on abortion, climate and healthcare. McGrath supports a public option and a medicare buy-in option, but falls short of backing single-payer. Early voting is not available in Kentucky.
ME-02: In Maine’s 2nd district, Democratic former Marine and state Rep. Jared Golden is challenging Republican incumbent Rep. Bruce Poliquin. No incumbent has lost an election here since 1916, but before Poloquin won in 2014, Democrats held this seat for 20 years. Obama won here by 9 points in 2012 and Trump won by 10 points. I know you’ll be shocked to hear, but Poloquin is also wildly waving around the term “radical” to make Golden sound scary… you know, for wanting to work toward Medicare-for-All and expanding Medicaid. Early voting in Maine begins November 1st.
MI-08: In Michigan’s 8th district, former Democratic Obama administration official Elissa Slotkin is challenging Republican incumbent Mike Bishop. Trump won here by 7 points. Slotkin, who grew up in Michigan and moved back to start a business after working for the CIA under both Bush and Obama, is being called an “outsider recruited by Nancy Pelosi” by Bishop’s campaign. Slotkin has said she will not support Pelosi as House leader and is not accepting corporate contributions to her campaign. Early voting is not available in Michigan.
NM-02: And finally, New Mexico’s 2nd district is another open seat race because the Republican Steve Pearce is running for Governor. Democratic attorney Xochitl Torres Small is facing Republican state Rep. Yvette Herrell to take this seat. Trump, Romney and McCain all won this district. Herrell is focusing on defunding Planned Parenthood, informing immigration laws and shrinking the government. Meanwhile, Small is focusing on affordable healthcare, lowering the cost of prescription drugs and fixing the VA. Small has raised three times as much as Herrell in a race where Latino turnout is critical. Early voting in New Mexico starts October 20th.
As a reminder, voter purging is happening across the country so we urge you to confirm your voter registration ASAP. Visit HeadCount.org to quickly be directed to your state’s specific website to confirm your voter registration. If there is a problem, contact 866-OUR-VOTE to report the problem and get guidance ASAP.
So, if making the Blue Wave a reality in November is important to you, be sure to hit the share buttons to spread the word about supporting Democrats in battleground races across the country via social media so that others in your network can spread the word too.
THE MIDTERMS MINUTE
REGISTER TO VOTE: RocktheVote.org/register-to-vote/
CONFIRM VOTER REGISTRATION: HeadCount.org/verify-voter-registration/
CHECK VOTING DATES & POLICIES: RocktheVote.org/voting-information/
All Battleground Info/Resources: THE MIDTERMS MINUTE H.Q.
TOSS UP BATTLEGROUND HOUSE SEATS (part 1)
IA-03: Cindy Axne
KS-02: Paul Davis
KY-06: Amy McGrath
ME-02: Jared Golden
MI-08: Elissa Slotkin
NM-02: Xochitl Torres Small
Posted October 18th, 2018; Researched & Written by Best of the Left Communications Director, Amanda Hoffman
Hear the segment in the context of Best of the Left Edition #1220: Fighting the Dark Money Machine