2018 Republican Candidates Struggling to Find Midterm Support

Peyton Upchurch
Staff Writer

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PC: Wikimedia Commons

As Nov. 6 approaches, Republican office holders and G.O.P. leaders are beginning to get nervous in regards to the future of their political control. Conservative candidates for governor and the Senate in Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and other “prized” G.O.P. states are noticeably in trouble. They are not polling as highly as party leaders have hoped, and there is concern that these difficulties may soon transfer into the House seats that the Republican party needs to win in midterm elections in Nov. in order to maintain their control of Congress.

In addition to their concern over Republican-leaning states, states that normally swing liberal are showing top-ticket conservatives polling even further behind their Democratic opponents than they usually do. This trend lessens the concerns of liberal candidates and allows them to focus more on fundraising, voter registration, turnout efforts and campaign events, all of which will allow them to overturn the seats of G.O.P. incumbents that they need in order to change the direction of the chamber.

The struggles of the Republican candidates in both conservative and liberal states are due to a multitude of ongoing things; older candidates are viewed as lacking charisma, governors such as Rick Snyder carry the baggage of state crises, Democrats hold the support of both parties on the issue of healthcare and, across the country, conservatives and liberals alike are fueled to vote by the widespread hatred of the Trump administration.

Michigan, which was marginally won by Donald Trump during the 2016 election, has made itself an example. Democratic gubernatorial nominee Gretchen Whitmer cruised through the primary and, with a staggering lead in the general election, is now spending her time campaigning and registering young voters in college towns with Senator Bernie Sanders. This is not without reason, however, as Michigan Democrats believe that they may be able to turn up to four House offices and loosen the Republican influence on the state.

“I’m trying to pull every Democrat I can across the finish line,” said Gretchen Whitmer in reference to her candidacy. “I don’t want anyone to think that in 18 days they can go and vote for governor and their job is done.”

Aside from Michigan, many states find Democratic candidates pulling ahead. A Democratic majority in many states has the potential to fill their seats with young, new politicians, undo recent incidents of Republican-mandated gerrymandering and secure future votes.

Because the chances of winning states like California, Illinois and Virginia are slim, conservatives have turned their attention to campaigning in the battleground states of Wisconsin, Ohio and Florida, where they believe there is a chance of winning the seats up for election.

Although President Trump views the Midwest as an extremely significant part of his support base, the G.O.P. continues to struggle in Midwestern states. However, while the Republican party is spending a great deal of energy on maintaining their control over Congress, Democrats may find themselves in a position to drastically alter American politics in the coming years.

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