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How Midterm Elections Work

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Author's Note: How Midterm Elections Work

OK, I'll admit it. I don't get as excited about midterm elections as I do about presidential elections, and there's a very good chance that I have skipped voting in several midterms since turning 18 just a couple (dozen) years ago. But after researching and writing this article, I understand the true significance of midterms in determining not only who controls the Congress, but also who is in charge of things like redistricting on the state level. I fully plan on voting in every midterm from now on, but I seriously doubt I will ever plant a political yard sign in my front lawn. My neighbors don't like me enough as it is.

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Sources

  • Enten, Harry. "Do Republicans Really Have a Big Turnout Advantage in Midterms." FiveThirtyEight. Jan. 9, 2018 (Sept. 24, 2018) https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/do-republicans-really-have-a-big-turnout-advantage-in-midterms/
  • Erikson, Robert S. "The Puzzle of Midterm Loss." Southern Political Science Association. Nov. 4, 1988 (Sept. 24, 2018) https://www.uvm.edu/~dguber/POLS125/articles/erikson1.pdf
  • Frail, T.A. "Top 10 Historic Midterm Elections." Smithsonian.com. Oct. 13, 2010 (Sept. 24, 2018) https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/top-10-historic-midterm-elections-65355118/
  • Jones, Jeffrey M. "Avg. Midterm Seat Loss 36 for Presidents Below 50% Approval." Gallup. Aug. 9, 2010 (Sept. 24, 2018) https://news.gallup.com/poll/141812/avg-midterm-seat-loss-presidents-below-approval.aspx
  • McDonald, Michael P. "Who Voted in 2010, and Why It Matters for 2012." Huffington Post. Nov. 4, 2010 (Sept. 24, 2018) https://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-p-mcdonald/who-voted-in-2010-and-why_b_778842.html
  • Montanaro, Dominico. "2014 midterm election turnout lowest in 70 years." Nov. 10, 2014 (Sept. 24, 2018) https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politics/2014-midterm-election-turnout-lowest-in-70-years
  • Murse, Tom. "Why the President's Party Loses Seats in Midterm Elections." ThoughtCo. Aug. 14, 2018 (Sept. 24, 2018) https://www.thoughtco.com/historical-midterm-election-results-4087704
  • National Conference of State Legislatures. "State Legislative Races and Ballot Measures." Sept. 5, 2018 (Sept. 24, 2018) http://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/statevote-2018-state-legislative-races-and-ballot-measures.aspx#/
  • Nebraska.gov. "Nebraska Unicameral" (Sept. 24, 2018) http://www.nebraska.gov/government/legislative/
  • Skelley, Geoffrey and Kondick, Kyle. "How Midterms Do (and Do Not) Differ From Presidential Elections." University of Virginia Center for Politics. March 2, 2017 (Sept. 24, 2018) http://www.centerforpolitics.org/crystalball/articles/how-midterms-do-and-do-not-differ-from-presidential-elections/
  • The United States Conference of Mayors. "Election Results" (Sept. 24, 2018) https://www.usmayors.org/elections/election-results-2/
  • United States House of Representatives. "Biennial Elections." History, Art and Archives (Sept. 24, 2018) http://history.house.gov/Institution/Origins-Development/Biennial-Elections/
  • United States Senate. "The Senate and the United States Constitution" (Sept. 24, 2018)
  • USA.gov. "Midterm Congressional, State and Local Elections" (Sept. 24, 2018) http://history.house.gov/Institution/Origins-Development/Biennial-Elections/

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