2018 has already broken early voting records. Here are 5 other records the midterm elections are poised to smash.

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.

These elections have already broken records on:

And they could break records on:

  • The number of female candidates elected
  • The number of women of color elected
  • The number of LGBT candidates elected
  • The number of military veterans elected

states with more early voting in 2018 than 2014 map

Image: Shayanne Gal/Business Insider

LIVE UPDATES: Follow our live coverage of the 2018 midterm elections here.

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.

Michael McDonald, the director of the University of Florida Elections Project, told CBS that the rates of early voting suggest voter turnout could reach between 45% and 50% this year. For comparison, voter turnout was 60% in 2016.

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.

Fundraising

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.

Read more: Here are the candidates who have raised and spent the most money since Trump's election

See more related to this story:

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We voted! And we agreed on this photo!
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Female candidates

 

 

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.

Women won their primaries to become their party's nominees in 235, or 45%, of House races, breaking the 2016 record of 167.

And women are the major party nominee in 22, or 63%, of Senate races, beating the previous high of 18 set in 2012.

Female candidates are out-preforming previous records at the state level, too.

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."

Read more: These are the 25 most competitive Congressional races to watch

LGBT candidates

A record-high of at least 244 candidates who identify as LGBT are running for office at the state and federal level between the primaries and general election. All of them are Democrats.

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.

Over the weekend, Texas Congressional candidate Dan Crenshaw, who lost an eye during a tour of duty in Afghanistan, caught national attention after Pete Davidson mocked him on "Saturday Night Live."

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."

See Also:

SEE ALSO: Midterms 2018 LIVE: Follow along for live results and coverage of a wild election night

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