The 2018 Elections: Follow Up and Explanations

The last 25 years have witnessed growing partisan polarization and intensifying party conflict. This session will focus first on political polarization and main factors contributing to political polarization: increasing economic inequality and the growing divisions along educational and geographic lines that impact social identity, culture, and political preferences. This provides the context in which the 2018 elections occurred. The second part of the session will focus on the factors that influence the outcomes of the 2018 congressional elections: partisanship, gerrymandering, strategic behavior by candidates, campaign finance, and voter turnout. The final part of the session will look at predictions that 2018 would be a "Democratic wave" and compare that to the results of the 2018 elections. The focus of this session will be on what happened in the 2018 elections.