Here's What You Need to Know About the 2018 Midterm Elections

Voters across the nation will cast their ballots Tuesday to determine the country’s next round of political leaders in a midterm election increasingly framed as a referendum on President Donald Trump. Around 36 million people across the nation have already voted – making for what appears to be a high-turnout election, especially among younger voters.

Democrats have their eyes set on the House of Representatives, which they hope to take back after losing control of the chamber in 2010. One key issue this election cycle is immigration; Trump intensified his rhetoric around the issue in recent days in what appears to be a bid to mobilize Republican voters.



Cambridge residents can cast their votes in the 2018 midterm elections on Tuesday from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. in one of 29 local polling places, including Quincy House, one of the 12 undergraduate residential Houses on Harvard’s campus.


Massachusetts voters can confirm their voter registration and polling location online. Anyone who is having trouble voting can contact the Cambridge Election Commission at 617-349-4361 (for Cambridge voters only) or the national Voter Protection Hotline at 866-OUR-VOTE (for voters anywhere in the country).

Related: [Here's what's at stake for Harvard in the midterm elections]

Harvard Votes Challenge leaders at the Institute of Politics said some Harvard students incorrectly registered to vote using their campus mailing addresses instead of their residential dormitory addresses. If, when you check your voter status online, you show up as not registered — and if you submitted your registration forms before the voter registration deadline — you will be permitted to correct your registration on Tuesday. Affected students can request a provisional ballot when they go to their polling location.

The IOP has compiled a chart of assigned polling locations for each Harvard undergraduate residential House and dormitory.


Several key legislative positions are contested in this years midterms. Here's what you need to know.

U.S. Senate

Wildly popular incumbent Democrat Elizabeth Warren is, per several polls, safely in the lead to maintain her seat in the U.S. Senate. After winning an unopposed primary, Warren faces Republican challenger Geoff Diehl in Tuesday’s general election. Diehl, who won the endorsement from the Massachusetts Republican Party, is known primarily for his support of President Donald Trump; he was co-chair of Massachusetts’s effort to elect the current president. Currently, polls say male voters in Massachusetts are roughly split between the two candidates, while female voters overwhelmingly support Warren.

As in the primary, self-proclaimed “inventor of email” Shiva Ayyadurai is running as an independent candidate. His campaign has proven controversial for his tactics against Warren, whom he calls a “fake Indian.” Polls suggest Ayyadurai is unlikely to win.


Massachusetts Governor

Ranked as America’s “most popular” governor, incumbent Governor Charles D. Baker ’79 is the favorite to win reelection. Often called a moderate Republican, Baker has garnered a 74 percent approval rating in a traditionally blue state, the highest of any governor in the nation according to a poll conducted by WBUR radio station and a Massachusetts-based think tank.

Baker, who is running on a ticket with incumbent Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, will face Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jay Gonzalez in the Tuesday election. Gonzalez previously served as the budget chief for former Mass. Governor Deval L. Patrick ’78 and as CEO of healthcare company CeltiCare. Polls show Gonzalez trailing Baker by a significant margin. His campaign ruffled feathers with a controversial university endowment tax proposal which would cost Harvard over $500 million per year. He defended the proposal in a recent op-ed for The Crimson.

Gonzalez has received the endorsement of former President Barack Obama. He will run on a ticket with Quentin A. Palfrey ’96, who is the son of Adams House Faculty Deans John “Sean” G. Palfrey ’67 and Judith “Judy” S. Palfrey ’67.

Massachusetts Attorney General

After running unopposed in the Sept. 4 primary, popular incumbent Attorney General Maura T. Healey ’92, a Democrat, will face Republican attorney James R. McMahon III on Tuesday. Healey was first elected to office in 2014, and is expected to keep her position in the upcoming term.

Massachusetts Secretary of State

Following an unusually competitive primary election, Democratic incumbent Secretary of State William F. Galvin is seeking a ninth term in office. He will face Republican candidate and current head of security and chief investigator at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Anthony M. Amore.

Local Congressional Races

Massachusetts’s congressional delegation is currently made up entirely of Democrats running for re-election, with the exception of one retiring member.

After pulling a stunning primary upset against incumbent Democratic Rep. Michael E. Capuano, Ayanna S. Pressley is poised to win in Massachusetts’s 7th Congressional District, which includes parts of Harvard’s campus on the Boston side of the river.

Meanwhile, incumbent Democratic Rep. Katherine M. Clark will face Republican challenger John Hugo in Massachusetts’s 5th Congressional District, which includes Harvard’s main Cambridge campus.

There are also three ballot questions on slate for Tuesday’s election. See our primer here for a rundown of these initiatives.

—Staff writer Benjamin E. Frimodig can be reached at

—Staff writer Iris M. Lewis can be reached at

—Staff writer Meena Venkataramanan can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @mvenk82.