The 2018 Midterm Elections Aren’t Far Away — Here Are 9 Ways To Actually Make A Difference
We're less than 100 days out from November 6, which means it's nearly time for the midterm that many analysts are calling the most important election of our lifetime. Now's the moment to step up your engagement if you care about the results. If so, you're probably wondering how to make a difference in the midterm elections.
Republicans currently control the Senate by a single seat and the House by 24 seats. If they maintain their hold on the chambers, they'll be able to continue their efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, deregulate banks and businesses, and dole out tax breaks. But if Democrats win Congress in a "blue wave," they'll be able to stymie President Trump's agenda and pass some legislation of their own (though only measures that can override his veto), like enshrining threatened political norms into law, protecting DACA and the Dreamers, and passing gun control reforms.
This election is more important than most: We already know of a few momentous political episodes that will take place over the next two years. President Trump will try to confirm at least one Supreme Court justice, Brett Kavanaugh, who could help to repeal Roe v. Wade (though that could very well happen before the next Congress is seated). District lines will be redrawn, in most cases by the parties who control their states, meaning that gerrymandering could shift the balance of power between parties in many places. And if — in the most extreme case — Robert Mueller's investigation into the Trump campaign leads him to recommend impeachment, it will be Congress who decides the president's fate.
Whether you're rooting for a blue wave, a red wave, or a "pink wave" (a flood of successful female candidates that some commentators believe is coming), it's time to do something about it. Here are nine of the best ways.
1. Register To Vote
Check out Vote.gov for state-specific information on how to register. Not every state allows you to do so online — only 37 do, plus D.C. — and many have registration deadlines far in advance of the election, so you should do this as soon as possible.
2. Help Others Register To Vote
3. Canvass For Your Favorite Candidate
A well-run canvassing campaign can transform a candidate from an unknown name to a familiar person with understandable, relatable policies. Canvassing is an extremely important part of any campaign, so if you have the time to knock on some doors, you should definitely do it.
4. Phone Bank For Your Favorite Candidate
Contact the campaign of your favorite candidate to sign up for phone banking. While nothing can replace the face-to-face interactions of canvassing, this is still an effective method to spread the word about a candidate, and it takes less time than traversing a neighborhood.
5. Sign Up To Drive People To The Polls
6. Donate To Your Preferred Candidates
Even a small amount of money can fund crucial advertisements and help support other important campaign endeavors.
7. Raise Awareness In Swing Districts
Swing Left is a partisan organization, but its map of 2018's swing districts will be helpful to activists on both sides of the aisle who want to know where to focus their campaigning efforts. First, find your closest swing district. Then get out and canvass, make phone calls, and donate (basically, all the steps above).
8. Call Congress
Unhappy with how your representatives are acting on the campaign trail? Feel that they're hurting the cause? Let them know. Go to ContactingCongress.org to find out how to reach out with a phone call or email. Or make it even easier on yourself by using Resistbot to contact your representatives with just a few easy texts.
9. Actually Vote (Up & Down The Ballot)
Obviously, one of the most important things you can do is to vote yourself. Plan ahead: Make sure you know where your polling station is and how to get there, and block out enough time to wait in line.
The midterm elections will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 6. Get involved, because the future of the country depends on it.