Welcome to The Midterms Minute: a look at the candidates and races that you need to know about, shout about and support to make sure we have a blue tsunami on November 6th. (Quick links at bottom of the page.)
Whether it’s canvassing in your state, calling voters in another state or donating to progressive campaigns in the final weeks before primaries, you can make a difference.
1st District: Hawaii’s primary election will take place August 11th. The state’s 1st district is facing a crowded field of candidates. But there is only one candidate fighting for a truly progressive vision and that’s Kaniela Ing, whose endorsements include Justice Democrats, The Working Families Party and 350 Action. In this heavily blue district, whoever wins the primary will very likely go to Washington.
2nd District: In Hawaii’s 2nd district, veteran and Bernie Sanders supporter Tulsi Gabbard is up for reelection. She’s facing two primary challengers - one of whom is criticizing Gabbard’s focus on peace and anti-interventionalism. Yup, you heard that right.
Important Dates: If you’re a Hawaiian resident, you must have been registered online by Thursday, July 12th to vote in the primaries. But if you missed this deadline, voters are eligible for late registration at either an early walk-in voting location or an election day polling place. Absentee ballot requests must be made by August 4th. For the general, the online registration deadline is October 9th.
After Hawaii, a slew of Democratic primaries will be held on August 14th in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Connecticut and Vermont (click the links to see our spotlights for those states). Today, we’re focusing on Minnesota.
5th District: Minnesota is facing electoral musical chairs in November. House Rep and DNC Deputy Chair, Keith Ellison, has decided to run for State Attorney General this year and five candidates are running for his seat in Minnesota’s 5th district. Of the group, Somali refugee and former State Rep. Ilhan Omar has been endorsed by Our Revolution Twin Cities, MoveOn, and more. She is running on a progressive platform that includes $15 federal minimum wage and abolishing ICE.
8th District: Meanwhile, a hotly contested primary is brewing in Minnesota’s 8th district, which flipped from supporting Obama by 6 points to supporting Trump by 15. Former news anchor, Michelle Lee, is running on a progressive platform that includes Medicare for All and reversing Citizens United. She is also speaking out against a proposed copper nickel sulfide mining project that would pose great risk to the Lake Superior Watershed and communities.
U.S. Senate: Minnesota’s primaries will also include selecting a nominee for Al Franken’s Senate seat. Voters are choosing between former Bush ethics lawyer Richard Painter and former Minnesota Lieutenant Governor, Tina Smith. Painter recently left the GOP and and was endorsed by Our Revolution Minnesota, perhaps because he supports Medicare for All. His campaign is primarily based on impeaching Trump. Smith has been mostly ignoring Painters candidacy and has been endorsed by Keith Ellison, NRDC, SEIU Minnesota, and more.
Governor: Finally, the Minnesota gubernatorial race is critical. As with every race for governor, the national importance is that whoever holds the office will be involved in the state’s redistricting process following the 2020 Census. Former nurse and long-time State Rep., Erin Murphy, has been endorsed by Our Revolution Minnesota, NARAL, and the state Democratic Party’s Disability Caucus.
Important Dates: If you’re a Minnesota resident, you can register online by July 24th to vote in the primaries. Minnesota also offers same day registration and voting up through primary day, but earlier is always better. The deadline for online registration for the general is October 16th.
We want to emphasize registration cut off dates and absentee ballot request and submission dates are different for each state, sometimes even each county. We highly suggest reviewing your state’s information, and voter ID laws, at rockthevote.org as soon as possible to ensure you will be able to vote in both the primary and general elections.
So, if building the bluest of blue waves is important to you, be sure to hit the share buttons to spread the word about supporting progressive candidates across the country via social media so that others in your network can spread the word too.
THE MIDTERMS MINUTE (QUICK LINKS):
For an easy way to donate to candidates, check out DownTicket.com on your mobile browser.
“15 Ways to Help a Campaign Win Their Election” (Political Charge)
August 11th Primary:
U.S. House - 1st District: Kaniela Ing
U.S. House - 2nd District: Tulsi Gabbard (Incumbent)
August 14th Primaries:
U.S. House - 5th District: Ilhan Omar
U.S. House - 8th District: Michelle Lee
U.S. Senate (Dem. Primary for Nov. Special Election) - Tina Smith
Governor (Dem. Primary) - Erin Murphy
Due to time, the following states will be featured in depth on a future episode:
U.S. House - 4th District: Incumbent Gwen Moore will very likely win her primary.
U.S. House - 7th District: Margaret Engebretson
Heads Up! General Nov. 6th: U.S. Senate - Incumbent Tammy Baldwin is running for reelection in Nov. and facing $8.5 million in conservative money against her.
Governor (Dem. Primary) - Ned Lamont
5th District (Dem. Primary) - Jahana Hayes (Heads up! Republicans are vying for this seat in November.)
Heads up! General Nov. 6th - U.S House - 2nd District - One large county in District 2 pivoted for Trump in 2016. Incumbent Dem. Joe Courtney will run against Republican Dan Postemski in the general.
U.S. Senate - Bernie Sanders
Correction: South Dakota was originally listed in on air segment, but 8/14 is actually the runoff date. There will not be runoffs.
Posted July 13, 2018; Written by Best of the Left Communications Director, Amanda Hoffman
Hear the segment in the context of Best of the Left Edition #1196: Building a media that support rather than undermines democracy