Here’s what we learned in the month of September in the lead-up to the 2018 midterm election.

New York gubernatorial primary

While primary races began wrapping up, the most notable race was in the Democratic gubernatorial primary in New York between incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo and actress-turned-socialist Cynthia Nixon.

Even though it was a heated primary fight, Cuomo beat Nixon in a landslide. It’s a sign that while socialism might be taking hold in the party, it still has a long way to go.

Senate math

Since there weren’t many notable primaries that took place in September, let’s take a look at what Republicans need to maintain control of the Senate.

As of the end of September, there are nine toss-up seats by most political experts: Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, Tennessee, and Texas. Republicans hold a 51-49 advantage over Democrats. They just have to win three of the nine toss-up races to maintain the Senate.

That means of the toss-up races Democrats need to win the five states in which they currently have incumbents (Florida, Indiana, Missouri, Montana, and New Jersey) in addition to flipping two more states. That means either flipping Tennessee and Arizona, two states where there are open seats, blue or knocking off either Dean Heller in Nevada or Ted Cruz in Texas or some other combination of those four states.

That’s a still a steep hill for Democrats to climb over if they want to flip the Senate.


Throughout 2018, the top issues have been rapidly changing. While Democrats have focused on implementing stricter gun control and loosening immigration laws, it might be the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court that will leave a lasting impression on voters on both sides of the aisle.

Regardless of the result in the confirmation vote, Republicans will be motivated to show up to the polls to fight back against the character assassination of Kavanaugh. Meanwhile, Democrats will be motivated to push back against everything President Trump and the Republicans do.