More than 9.2 million pre-election ballots cast nationally as early and absentee voting continues ahead of the 2022 midterms, and there’s plenty of reasons to be excited about the prospect of a Trump-free ballot.
As we enter the final week before Election Day, more people have filed their absentee ballots than ballots in any election cycle since 2000. According to one recent analysis, the absentee voter gap in the midterms is the largest gap recorded in U.S. history, and that gap is growing — with Republicans on pace to outvote Democrats in 2018 by 19 percentage points.
Here’s what’s at stake in this election, and what to know about the issues that could tip this election to a tie or tossup.
‘A big test’ for voters
The stakes may be high for 2020, but the 2018 midterm is another opportunity for voters to find out if Trump is truly a one-time aberration in U.S. political history, like an orange stain on the carpet, or the beginning of a much longer journey toward a more inclusive democracy, as the 2020 election approaches.
All 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and 27 U.S. Senate seats are up for reelection. In order to have a chance to take their seats back, candidates will have to win a majority of the vote, which is how all other elections are decided.
There are two issues voters want to know about in this election: who will vote and who will represent them.
For the House, the electoral college means that, at least in theory, voters from more densely populated areas will have to support more candidates to win a majority. The Senate is more problematic because of a law that allows each state to have a single vote for senators, meaning that the map is more winnable, at least in theory.
To win their seats, Republicans must flip at