7 Articles About The 2018 Midterm Elections That'll Help You Understand Exactly What's Happening

Drew Angerer/Getty Images News/Getty Images

The midterm elections are rapidly approaching, and their outcome will have serious, sweeping implications for the future of the country. But given how complex they are, it can be hard to wrap your head around exactly what's at stake in this election. Thankfully, there are some articles you can read about the 2018 midterms that will help shed light on what's going down on Tuesday.

Although they typically don't command as much media attention — or voter participation — as presidential elections, midterms are incredibly important. They determine which party controls Congress, which in turn determines what laws do and don't get passed. The midterm elections affect everything from Supreme Court appointments and trade treaties to voting laws, investigations into the president, and the shape of congressional districts.

On Tuesday, Americans will determine who controls 35 Senate seats, 36 governor's mansions, and all 435 seats in the House of Representatives. The ballot will also feature candidates for various state and local offices, such as school boards and state legislatures, and many important ballot propositions.

The exact choices you'll face on Tuesday depends on which state you live in. But you'd like a general understand of what's going on in these elections, here are some must-read articles about the upcoming midterms.

A Basic Primer

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images News/Getty Images

If you'd like to brush up on the basics of the 2018 midterms — which offices are up for reelection, which states have especially close races, what historical trends are at play, and so on — the Telegraph has an excellent rundown.

How These Campaigns Are Doing Now

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Although political polls aren't perfect, they do provide a good snapshot of the state of the race. RealClearPolitics has a regularly-updated tracker of the latest midterm polls, while FiveThirtyEight offers several predictive models to help make sense of what those polls mean.

How The Midterms Will Affect America

Allison Shelley/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Regardless of how they turn out, the 2018 midterms will have an enormous impact on the future of Donald Trump's administration and the country as a whole. Here are some of the effects the midterms could have, courtesy of Vox.

Voter Suppression

Joe Raedle/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Unfortunately, attempts to suppress the vote are real, and widespread. The BBC has a list of the various voter suppression efforts around the country, while the New York Times offers some perspective on how those efforts could swing individual races.

Record-Setters

Scott Eisen/Getty Images News/Getty Images

In addition to the fact that there are a record number of women running for Congress in 2018, the midterms could produce the first Muslim congresswoman, the youngest woman in congressional history, the first black governors in multiple states, and more. Several candidates are poised to make history in 2018; here are some of them, courtesy of Al Jazeera.

The Impeachment Question

Mark Wilson/Getty Images News/Getty Images

In most conversations about the midterms, the possible impeachment of Trump is the elephant in the room. The Independent has a good, detailed explanation of how impeachment works, what kind of victory Democrats would need to pursue it, and what kind of outcome would be likely if they did.

How 2018 Affects 2020

Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Elections in America don't happen in a vacuum; because of how they're structured, they also have a ripple effect that has serious implications for the next election. If you're wondering how the outcome of 2018 will affect the 2020 election, look no further than this comprehensive rundown at FiveThirtyEight.

Last but certainly not least, here's how to find your polling place, so you know where to physically cast your ballot. And if you'd like to confirm that you're registered to vote, just click here.