2018 Elections

President Trump warned at his rally in Pennsylvania on Wednesday night that if his party loses in November's midterm elections, the "radical Democrat mob" will take away everything he has achieved since his election, while encouraging crime and socialism.

It was an echo of something he's been saying a lot lately, including at rallies in Iowa and Kansas in recent days and on Twitter — a line that Republicans have been quick to seize upon as they try to sustain a newly-enthused GOP base in the wake of the divisive confirmation battle for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Jackie Fortier / StateImpact Oklahoma

On a hot Monday afternoon, Zora Sampson stands behind rows of chairs set up in the lobby of the hospital in Pauls Valley. Sampson supports the Democratic candidate for Governor Drew Edmondson — and turned up to hear his plan to help rural hospitals.

Taylor Swift is done being apolitical. On Sunday, the pop megastar took to Instagram and endorsed two Democratic candidates up for election in Tennessee.

Democrat Amy McGrath is running heavily on her military record in Kentucky's 6th Congressional District. In her announcement video, she tells the story of how, as a girl, she was told that women couldn't fly in combat — and how that fired her up to eventually do just that.

Caroline Halter / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

John Carpenter is a yoga instructor in Choctaw. He previously worked as a probation officer, and before that he owned a construction company. And Carpenter recently organized his community’s opposition to the Eastern Oklahoma County Turnpike.

“Ultimately we didn't stop the turnpike,” Carpenter said. “But it got me politically involved.”

Now Carpenter’s trying something new once again. He’s campaigning as a Democrat to be House District 101’s next state representative.

Caroline Halter / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

Mike Couke runs the Comanche County Democratic Party out of a one-room office nestled between a laundromat and a barbershop in Lawton. This year, he’s focused on training local Democrats to make better use of voter lists ahead of the general election.

“The best way to reach voters is to knock on doors. And that's one thing the list gives you is physical addresses,” Couke said.

Larry Bush, a Democrat running for Lawton’s House District 62, sits next to him. He’s running for a second time after losing in 2016.

Emily Wendler / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma education leaders say a state question designed to give districts more spending flexibility will do little to improve public schools’ financial difficulties.

State Question 801 would allow school leaders to spend money in their building fund — currently restricted for things like construction projects, maintenance and repairs, utilities, and custodians’ salaries — in new ways.

An indicted New York congressman who had announced he was withdrawing from his race has reversed course and now says he will continue to campaign for re-election and plans to serve again if he wins this November.

In a campaign statement announcing the decision Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y. said, "The stakes are too high to allow the radical left to take control of this seat in Congress."

Jackie Fortier / StateImpact Oklahoma

Brendhan Fritts’ optometry practice in Duncan is filled with brightly colored displays of models in designer glasses, pamphlets on the importance of routine eye care — and posters against State Question 793.

It doesn’t look like a scene for political discussions, but with the November election looming, Fritts is having more and more conversations with his patients.

“‘How do you want me to vote?’ Is basically what they ask me. ‘What do you want me to do?’ And I say, ‘I want you to vote no for these reasons,’” Fritts said.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday insisted that many donations to predominantly conservative political nonprofit groups — what's often called dark money — be disclosed, seven weeks ahead of the 2018 midterm elections.

The ruling closes, at least for now, a loophole that has allowed wealthy donors to finance aggressive ads while staying anonymous. Crafted by the Federal Election Commission nearly 40 years ago, the loophole flourished after the 2010 Citizens United ruling.

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