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Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Midterm elections are in the spotlight. Here’s what you need to know.

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Photo: D. Cohen/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Midterm elections have traditionally been light on external factors such as the president’s fortunes, foreign affairs, and the state of the economy, which have large influence on voters’ decisions.

But this year, in a hotly contested battle for control of the Senate, 2018 is likely to be the most closely-watched midterm election in the history of this country. The midterms are guaranteed to be bitter, with investigations into the president, his administration, and his campaign spilling into public view.

Both parties are hoping that federal investigations will help them, rather than hurt them, in close races. And there will be plenty of other elections for the parties to focus on: primaries in each party will occur in early March, with the primaries to select candidates in four governor’s races, a host of Congressional races, and special elections for district and special-interest offices, as well as for state and local legislatures.

The Pennsylvania Democratic Party, in particular, is hoping that heavy budgeting for a hotly contested Senate primary — it wants to spend more than $50 million of its $61 million war chest — can help it lift its performance. But if Representative Conor Lamb of Pittsburgh wins the Democratic primary, many Democrats worry about the effect he will have on the general election.

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