The 2018 midterm elections are a highly anticipated referendum on the leadership of President Donald Trump and a chance for Democrats to take back the House of Representatives after two years of Republicans controlling the House, Senate, and White House.
Here are all the records this year's midterm elections have already, or could, break:
Early voter turnout
Image: Shayanne Gal/Business Insider
Voter turnout is typically quite low in non-presidential elections, but this year could see that trend changing.
Multiple states have shattered their previous records for early voter turnout, leading experts to project that this year's midterm elections could have the highest turnout in a non-presidential year in at least 52 years.
In the 2014 midterms, just 36% of eligible voters voted.
In 27 states, the total number of early ballots cast this year is already greater the total number cast in the 2014 midterms, with the biggest leaps in turnout rates occurring in Florida, Georgia, and Texas.
Image: Shayanne Gal/Business Insider
This year's midterms are the most expensive Congressional elections in US history, with the Center for Responsive Politics projecting that a total of $5.2 billion will be spent when all is said and done, far outdoing the previous record of $4.4 billion set in 2016.
Beto O'Rourke, the Democratic Senate candidate challenging Ted Cruz in Texas, broke an all-time quarterly fundraising record in the 3rd quarter of 2018, raking in $38 million from individual donors.
In the House, the July 2017 special election in Georgia's 6th congressional district set a record for the most expensive House race in history with $56 million spent.
Other wealthy House and Senate candidates such as Gil Cisneros in California, Scott Wallace in Pennsylvania, and Rick Scott in Florida are pouring tens of millions of dollars into their own campaigns.
I’m feeling grateful for everyone before me who fought so hard to give us all the right to have a voice. We can’t voice our frustrations and complain about what’s wrong without voting and exercising our power to make it right. We need you. We all need each other, because when we are truly united we are unstoppable. Sending you all love and positivity on this happy voting day!
Every vote counts
Every race matters
I Voted! 🇺🇸 ✅ How about you?!
On the off chance you forgot, #VOTE. #ElectionDay #MidtermElections2018
Every #vote counts. 🇺🇸
For all of our ancestors that fought and died and lived and survived and created everything we now have access to, I bow down in deep deep honor. We are proud to be your wildest dream and we won’t let you down!!!! Let’s keep it up we are awake, aware, growing and powerful!! #votewithus 💥💥💥 (check my story)
⬆️These two Tennessee women⬆️ voted for the candidate who has proven himself to be reasonable and trustworthy. We want leadership, not fear-based extremism. Early voting goes til Thursday and Election Day is November 6. Please don’t sit this one out.
We voted ❤️🇺🇸
It’s a right not to be taken for granted so I did it a day early and I’m gonna rock this sticker all day. #votevotevote
The antidote to Hate... VOTE your love!
What a birthday! I just smoked a huge bowl of early voting. #JustVoted @whenweallvote
I did it! Felt soooooo good. #Vote #whenweallvote #WeMatter
I. AM. A. VOTER. Proud to use my voice, and exercise my RIGHT to VOTE! @iamavoter #vote #midterms
Need a ride to the polls? We will pick you up in a party bus, give you some snacks, and let you pick the playlist. Just ask Harry & Bob 🇺🇸 #VOTE
10.15.18 Early Voted ✔️ And I’m still helping organize pals and strangers alike to get out the vote! My #votingsquad is STRONG!! How’s yours? Make a plan, talk it through, and vote together!
CONFUSED ABOUT BALLOT MEASURES!? (I know, there’s a lot!) Check out VoteSaveAmerica.com for all the facts and easy breakdowns of ballot measures in YOUR state! •
Thank you to my soul sister squad @ridershop @conniebritton @mspackyetti @jsmizzie @vanessamagos @nialauryn @ruthielindsey @alextcooks @mandanadayani @abbywambach and @glennondoyle. We got boys too! @jedidiahjenkins @kennyjamez @glassofwhiskey @wakingupwithryan @princeflips @get ardocelasco and more. Like I said. My squad is serious! We really love America! #WhenWeAllVote (swipe to hear from the First Lady of Voting herself, @michelleobama!) #GOTV #VOTE #WhenWeAllVote #IAmAVoter
Thank you 14th & 19th Amendment for letting me vote today! Comment or tag yourself if you feel the same!
I voted today for my baby right here and his future!!!
Go be awesome and VOTE YOUR FRIGGIN FACE OFF!
TODAY IS THE DAY. Don’t let anything stop you from voting. Make your voice heard. Every single vote counts. #VoteOrDie
Our son was disappointed because he thought we were going to “boat” but otherwise a success! #Vote
@whenweallvote #yourvotematters #midterms #voteforyourfuture #whenweallvote #LAsFinest @gabunion #votevotevote -take a photo after you vote 🗳-tag me and use hashtag #postthevote you could be featured on my IG :)
ELECTION DAY EVE ~ 🌊 🗳🙏🏾✊🏾
I voted because I care deeply about representation, education, criminal justice, healthcare, truth, equity and so many other things that are at stake.
If I could vote in Georgia or Florida, I’d vote for @staceyabrams or @andrewgillum! Why are you voting?
Sweatshirt by @phenomenal.ly
I am so grateful to be home in time to vote! One vote can make a difference, so make sure your voice is heard!🗳 🇺🇸 now go out and #VOTE!!!!
You’d think I’d be all set to vote right? Here’s a little story: I had to enter my info 4 times before the state site confirmed I was registered! This is how passionate I am about using my voice and my right to vote. You have to have the patience and interest in getting to the polls tomorrow. They think young people don’t vote, latinos don’t vote, women dont vote, PROVE THEM WRONG!!! This election affects us ALL. VOTE. It’s so important that ALL of our voices are heard, not just a few... we live in a beautiful country where we all have a say!!! I urge all of you PLEASE get out there and vote, there are so many issues at stake these elections!! And they affect us all in our daily lives in some way! If you are frustrated by what you been seeing and hearing, you can change it!! You have the power!!! I HAVE A BUNCH OF VOTER INFO IN MY STORIES TO HELP YOU!! #GOVOTE #VOTA #ELECTIONEVE #VOTETUESDAY
Let your voice be heard!!!
It’s #TheLastWeekend to get out there and get involved! My absentee ballot’s in... make sure you GO VOTE on Tuesday!! Remember: NO voting booth selfies 😂 More info in bio.
Todos tenemos por lo menos una razón para votar el 6 de noviembre. Para mis amigos en Texas, yo estoy con @betoorourke! Como madre latina, sé que tengo que votar.
Yo voy a votar porque mi voto es mi voz. ¿Y tú? ¿Por qué vas a votar @georgelopez?
Haz tu video con tu smartphone diciendo por qué vas a votar el 6 de noviembre y compártelo. /// We ALL have at least one reason to vote on November 6. To all my fellow Texans: I stand with @betoorourke! As a Latina, I know I have to vote.
I’m voting because my vote is my voice.
And you? Why are you going to vote @georgelopez?
Make a video with your smartphone stating why you are voting on November 6 and share it.
#LatinasenMarcha #YoVoyAVotar #LatinosStandUp #MidtermsMatter
Happy Election Day- Let's all do our part and get out and vote today! 🗳🇺🇸It's also #homebodydesignbook launch day! You can watch us this morning on the @today show during the 8 o'clock hour in your time zone.
Today’s the day. Make your voice heard and VOTE. Need a ride? Both @uber and @lyft are offering free rides to the polls! Check out their socials for details. #vote
I JUST VOTED IN MY STATE OF FLORIDA!!!!!!!! ELECTION DAY IS NOVEMBER 6 AND EARLY VOTING GOES TO NOVEMBER 4. GO TO VOTE.ORG TO FIND YOUR NEAREST POLLING PLACE, THIS WEBSITE’S INFORMATION IS SO CLEAR AND EASY TO UNDERSTAND. I AM SORRY FOR THE CAPITALS, I JUST FEEL REALLY EXCITED THAT I JUST VOTED BECAUSE I FEEL LIKE IM TAKING MY FRUSTRATION AT THE INJUSTICES THAT HAPPEN IN OUR COUNTRY AND TURNING IT INTO ACTION!!! EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US CAN TURN THOSE FEELINGS INTO ACTION WHEN WE SHOW UP TO VOTE. ONE VOTE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE. WE CAN CONTRIBUTE AND HELP WRITE THE STORY OF OUR COUNTRY JUST BY TAKING A FEW MINUTES OUT OF OUR DAY TO VOTE!!! ALSO ITS MY GRANDMAS FIRST TIME VOTING IN THE UNITED STATES AND SHE DID HER RESEARCH AND PREPARED HERSELF AND WE ARE ALL FEELING SO GOOD !!! LETS. GOOOO. LETS VOTE! ➡️➡️➡️➡️➡️➡️➡️VOTE.ORG.
November 6th is our day to say women are never going away, so get used to it.
Ok, Ladies (& gentlemen), now let’s get in formation! 👯♀️👯♀️👯♂️Tomorrow is Election Day! Grab your friends and vote!!!! Find your voting location at Vote.org @votedotorg
This is another moment to stand for Standing Rock. Native people are here, they’re resilient, and despite the laws trying to suppress them, they’re ready to vote. Text 788683 to take the #StandNVote pledge. Let’s bring this home.
I voted early and so can you! Go to vote.org and please vote. Please. (The sticker looks janky cuz it was stuck to the backing and I had to cut it out carefully otherwise it would have ripped. A great metaphor for our democracy! Vote dammit!)
I AM GOING TO ASK YOU IF YOU VOTED TODAY AND IF YOU ALREADY DID THEN ASK EVERYONE AROUND YOU IF THEY DID BECAUSE THERE IS NO EXCUSE, I HAVE RESORTED TO SHOUTING IN ALL CAPS SO PLEASE VOTE AND I WILL STOP THE CAPS
We voted! And we agreed on this photo!
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An all-time record number of women are running in races at every level this year, leading experts to predict that this year's midterms could result in more women holding elected office than ever before in US history.
Sixteen women are their party's gubernatorial nominees this year, breaking the previous record of 10 women in 1994.
Another record 3,379 women are their party's nominees for state legislative seats.
Women of color candidates
This year's midterms do not only have a record number of women, but women of other marginalized identities. This year has seen is a 75% increase in women of color running for Congress since 2012, with several of those candidates poised to make history this fall.
Democrats Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Talib of Michigan are likely to be the first-ever female Muslim members of Congress, Deb Haaland of New Mexico and Sharice Davids of Kansas could be the first Native-American congresswomen, and Republican Young Kim from California could be the first Korean-American woman in Congress.
Some scholars have compared the surge of women stepping up to run for office this year to "The Year of the Woman" in 1992, when record numbers of women ran for, and won, seats in the House of Representatives and US Senate following Anita Hill's testimony against Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas for allegedly sexually harassing her.
"This year certainly has the potential to be another year of the woman," Laurel Harbridge-Yong, a political scientist at Northwestern University, told Business Insider in September, adding that displeasure with Trump and the fallout of Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation "could mobilize white suburban women, a really key segment of the electorate, to vote for Democratic congressional candidates."
Some of the House candidates who could increase LGBT representation in Congress include Gina-Ortiz Jones in Texas, Sharice Davids in Kansas, and Chris Pappas in New Hampshire, just to name a few.
At the state level, Christine Hallquist in Vermont could be America's first-ever transgender governor.
Military or intelligence veteran candidates
Public servants are running for Congress in droves, too. At least 400 veterans ran in Congressional primaries with 200 advancing to the general, according to Super PAC With Honor, which was created to support military veterans running for office.
To name a few, Amy McGrath in Kentucky, the first woman to fly an F-18 in combat in the Marine Corps, and Air Force pilot MJ Heager in Texas both went viral with campaign ads about the barriers they overcame as women in the armed forces.
And Republican candidate John James, an Army veteran and West Point graduate, has sparked attention for his longshot challenge to Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan.
There was bipartisan backlash calling on Davidson to apologize, but Crenshaw said he wanted "to get away from this culture where we demand apologies every time someone misspeaks."
He also tweeted: "Good rule in life: I try hard not to offend; I try harder not to be offended. That being said, I hope @nbcsnl recognizes that vets don't deserve to see their wounds used as punchlines for bad jokes."