Editor’s Note: With so much heat rather than light in the media world today, Liberty Nation presents the following series on the crucial midterm elections that will be taking place. These elections will likely determine the course of the Trump presidency and as such should be looked at with in-depth analysis. Thus, each week LN author Graham Noble will be giving our readers a state-by-state look at the upcoming elections. This week, he covers House and Senate Races in Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.
Until 1992, the state of Vermont had voted for a Democrat in a presidential election only one time; in 1964. Since then, Vermont voters have chosen a Democrat in every election. Donald Trump’s 29.8% share of Vermont votes in 2016 was paltry, even for a Republican. Hillary Clinton carried the state with 55.7%. Virginians have chosen Republican candidates since the late 1960s but voted twice for Barack Obama and then for Clinton in 2016. Clinton also claimed a commanding win in Washington state, with a 54.3% to 38.1% margin over Trump.
Bernie Sanders, one of only two sitting Independent Senators, represents Vermont along with Democrat Patrick Leahy. While Leahy will not be running for re-election until 2020, Sanders will be defending his seat in the 2018 midterms. Another presidential run in for the socialist is widely anticipated for 2020 but Sanders will be 79 years old by then. Regardless, there is little chance that he will fail to win re-election in November.
Democrat Peter Welch represents Vermont’s at-large congressional district but faces primary challengers in his bid for a seventh term. Whether he is successful or not in his re-election bid, the seat is a safe one for Democrats.
Democratic Senator Tim Kaine heads into his 2018 midterm re-election fight with more than $10 million in his war-chest. It is unlikely he will lose his seat in a state seemingly turning from purple to blue. His fellow Virginia Senator, Democrat Mark Warner, will defend his own seat in 2020.
The state’s 11 congressional districts are represented by four Democrats and seven Republicans. In keeping with the historical trend of midterm elections – in which the party that holds the White House loses significant numbers of seats in Congress – many observers are predicting Democrats will flip three or four seats in Virginia. Among those, the fifth district, where Republican incumbent Tom Garrett is not running. Other supposedly vulnerable Republicans include the second district’s Scott Taylor and the 10th district’s Barbara Comstock. The latter is considered especially vulnerable and the Democratic Party has the seat firmly within its sights. As many as six Democratic challengers have thrown their hats in the ring for a district that voted for Hillary Clinton by a 10-point margin in 2016.
One of Washington’s two Democratic Senators, Maria Cantwell, faces re-election in November. The other, Patty Murray, will serve out her current term in 2021. Cantwell’s chances of victory are in good shape.
One of the state’s four Republican Representatives will not be seeking re-election in 2018. David Reichert announced his intention to retire and his eighth district seat is very much up for grabs. The district voted narrowly for Clinton in 2016. None of Washington’s six Democratic congressional districts appear to be in danger.
Midterm Election Watch predicts Democrats will pick up Virginia’s 10th district and Washington’s eighth district.
Join us next week as our series focuses on House and Senate Races in West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.