Articles on 2018 midterm elections

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Images of Donald Trump from the midterm campaign. Illustration by Bob Britten

What image will define the 2018 election?

Here's a riddle: What's the dominant image of the 2018 election campaign? There isn't one. But there are many.
As Americans go to the polls, the voting process and the information environment are still not secure. AP Photo/David Goldman

Threats remain to US voting system – and voters’ perceptions of reality

Protecting democracy requires more than just technical solutions. It includes education, critical thinking and members of society working together to agree on problems and find solutions.
Social media misinformation rose significantly before the 2016 presidential election. Georgejmclittle/shutterstock.com

Unlike in 2016, there was no spike in misinformation this election cycle

The Iffy Quotient measured misinformation on social media in the run-up to the recent elections. Facebook has gotten better at combating untrustworthy links, but Twitter still struggles.
Adding bots into an online discussion can definitely affect the views of real people. Tatiana Shepeleva/Shutterstock.com

Even a few bots can shift public opinion in big ways

Measuring Twitter bots' effects on the opinions of real people can yield surprising results about what makes them influential.
Screenshot from Republican John Rose’s campaign ad ‘Build the Wall,’ which equates all immigration with the Salvadoran gang MS-13. John Rose For Tennessee via YouTube

Republican ads feature MS-13, hoping fear will motivate voters

MS-13 is not the biggest or most violent gang in the US. But its grisly murders and Latino membership inflame Americans' anxiety about immigration. GOP campaign ads stoke those fears to attack Democrats.
California’s Katie Porter, seen here with Democratic candidates and former president Barack Obama, is one of just three first-time female congressional candidates in California. AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu

Female candidates running in record numbers for the midterms — just not in California

A record number of women are poised to win public office in 2018. But don't look to California for help shifting the gender balance in Congress during the 'year of the woman.'
Money in politics? Somebody’s got to pay for those signs. AP/John Raoux

Money in elections doesn’t mean what you think it does

Is money the root of all evil in politics? It’s easy to see a correlation between winning and fundraising – money flows to likely winners and competitive races. But correlation is not causation.
Demonstrators with cut-outs of congressional districts in front of the Supreme Court. Reuters/Joshua Roberts

4 reasons gerrymandering is getting worse

One of the main reasons polarization in the US is on the rise – the way congressional seats are drawn to favor parties – isn't going away anytime soon.

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