The 412 (and growing) things I am watching in the 2018 general election: an Election Night cheat sheet
prepared by Daniel Nichanian (@Taniel) | Feel free to message me with suggestions of more to include. And feel free to bookmark, save, & share!
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Senate [and Govs below]

Swing now: +3 GOP

Swing now: +40 Dem



statewide: Supreme Court, Att. Gen., Sec.of State,
local: sheriff, prosecutor, legislative seats, mayor
Stakes/reasons to care
Dem-heldDem-heldMedicaid expansionLegislative chambers

Listed if somewhat competitive.
(**) = Watching closely. See column M.
Supreme Court
FLGOP*AZ-01DemID: expands Medicaid (#2)YESAlabamaParker (R)Tom Parker (a Roy Moore ally) defeated the Chief Justice in GOP primary. Now faces Bob Vance (D), who came close to Moore in 2012.
INGOPCA-16DemNE: expands Medicaid (#427)YESFlorida (3 seats)[GOP will appoint]Okay, these aren't actually on the ballot--but bear with me: FL's new Governor gets to appoint THREE new Justices immediately & remake FL's judiciary.
MIDEMFL-07DemUT: expands Medicaid (#3)YESDem-runMichigan (2 seats)1 Dem; 1 GOPTwo Justices appointed by Gov. Snyder (GOP) face election. If 2 Dem-nominated candidates won, they'd grab a majority on the court overall.
MNDEMMN-01GOPMT: fund extension of Medicaid expansion (#185)NOAK | House **MinnesotaChutichMichelle MacDonald against Justice Margaret Chutich; MacDonald said one reason she is running is that Chutich is gay.
MOGOPMN-07DemVoting rightsCO | HouseDEMNorth CarolinaAnita Earls (D)Civil rights lawyer Anita Earls (D) is looking to unseat Justice Barbara Jackson (R). Would expand Dem majority from 4-3 to 5-2.
MTDEMMN-08GOPFL: voting rights restoration, affects ≈1.5 million (#4)YESCT | Senate **DEMNew MexicoVigil (D)Gov. Martinez (R) made Gary Clingman (R) a Justice earlier in 2018. Clingman now faces re-election against Michael Vigil (D).
NDGOPNH-01DemAR: require voter ID (#2)YESDE | SenateDemNevadaCadish (D)Jerry Tao is running on moving Supreme Court to right: "Is the Court going to drift even further to left, or can we change the direction?" Opponent is Elissa Cadish.
NJDEMNV-03DemCO: congressional redistricting reform (#Y)YESME | HouseDemOhio (2 seats)Dem x2Two GOP seats are up. One features an incumbent (DeGenaro) seeking a new term, the other is an open race. GOP's overall majority is safe.
OHDEMNV-04DemCO: legislative redistricting reform (#Z)YESNV | SenateDemWest Virginia (2 seats)GOP x22 Justices resigned in the summer of 2018 right before impeachment proceedings, triggering a November special. Candidates include Rep. Evan Jenkins.
WVDEMPA-08DEMDenver, CO: campaign finance reform, public matchingYESWA | Senate **DemProsecutors (DA, state attorney, etc)
WIDEMGOP-held (tier 1 of 2)
won by Obama '12 &/or Clinton
Golden, CO: lower voting age for local races to 16NOWA | HouseDemJefferson Co., ALCarr (D)Mike Anderton (R), Danny Carr (D). Candidates for Birmingham DA disagree on marijuana prosecution, impact of fines and fees
GOP-heldMD: "Election Day" registration (#1)YESGOP-heldMarin Co., CAFrugoliLori Frugoli (i) vs. Anna Pletcher. Candidates emphasizing their interest in diversion, restorative justice. Important stakes on juvenile justice, immigration.
AZDEMAZ-02DEMMI: redistricting reform (#2)YESAZ | House **GOPCumberland Co. (≈Portland), MESahrbeck (I)To replace longtime GOP incumbent. Dem & GOP candidates both dropped out (still on ballot); independent (Sahrbeck) is left, largely defends county status-quo.
NVDEMCA-10DEMMI: voting rights (AVR, SVR, no-excuse mail) (#3)YESAZ | SenateGOPBerkshire County, MAHarrington (D)Andrea Harrington won Dem primary on a reform/rehabilitation platform against incumbent DA, Paul Caccaviello. Now Caccaviello mounting a write-in bid.
TNGOPCA-21DEMMO: redistricting & campaign finance reform (#1)YESCO | Senate **DemSuffolk County (≈Boston), MARollins (D)Rachael Rollins won a hotly-disputed Dem primary on a reform platform; now faces independent Mike Maloney.
TXGOPCA-25DEMNC: require voter IDYESFL | Senate **GOPPlymouth, MACruz (R)DA Timothy Cruz (GOP) faces a former employee (John Bradley) who faults his ethics and proposes more reform policies.
CA-39DEMNV: automatic voter registration (#5)YESFL | HouseGOPHennepin Co., MNFreeman (D,vs.D)Racial disparities and police shootings under the spotlight in Hennepin County election between DA Freeman and challenger Haase
GOVERNORSCA-45DEMPortland, OR: campaign finance restrictionsYESIA | SenateGOPRensselaer Co. NYDonnely (D)A year after being charged for misconduct, DA Joel Abelove seeks reelection.
Indy-heldCA-48DEMSD: campaign finance & referenda protection (#W)NOIA | HouseGOPTulsa Co., OKKunzweiler (R)DA Steve Kunzweiler (R) vs. Jenny Proehl-Day (D), who's running on reform platform & to change criminal justice conversation.
AKGOPCA-49DEMUT: redistricting reform (#4)YESME | Senate **DemPayne and Logan counties, OKThomas (R) Lori Thomas (i, R) vs. Cory Williams (D). Williams wants to make area model on crim justice reform; Thomas calls CJR "empty words."
Dem-heldCO-06DEMMinimum wageMI | SenateGOPBexar Co., TXGonzales (D)Joe Gonzales (D) vs Tylden Shaeffer (R). Campaign features clear oppositions on marijuana prosecution, cite-and-release program, and immigration.
CADEMFL-26DEMAR: minimum wage increase (#5)YESMI | HouseGOPDallas Co., TXCreuzot (D)Faith Johnson (R) vs John Creuzot (D). Contrasts on marijuana prosecution, homelessness prosecution, bail reform.
CTDEMFL-27DEMMO: minimum wage increase (#B)YESMN | HouseDEMSalt Lake, UTGill (D)Sim Gill (D, i) vs. Nathan Evershed (R)
CODEMIA-01DEMFlagstaff, AZ: repeal minimum wage hikeNOMN | Senate GOPKing Co. (≈Seattle), WASatterberg Prosecutor Dan Satterberg was challenged by Daron Morris, running on wide-ranging reform platform. Morris suspended campaign on 9/21 for medical reasons.
MNDEMIA-03DEMMarijuanaNH | House **DEMThurston Co.,WATunheim (R)Jon Tunheim (R), Victor Minjares (D). Minjares is running on a reform platform. Unfortunately didn't have time to preview this one.
ORDEMIL-06DEMMI: legalize recreational use (#1)YESNH | SenateDEMIf you wish to learn more on prosecutorial elections: visit The Appeal: Political Report
PADEMIL-12GOPMO: legalize medical marijuana [to one of 3?]YESNY | Senate **DEM(Note: major prosecutorial races were effectively decided in primaries, e.g. in St. Louis, Durham or Contra Costa, where candidates won on strong reform platforms, or else in Baltimore, Boulder, San Diego & Sacramento.)
RIDEMKS-03DEMND: legalize recreational + expungement (#3)NOPA | House **GOPSheriffs
GOP-heldME-2DEMUT: legalize medical marijuana (#2)YESPA | SenateGOPLos Angeles, CAVillanueva (D)Rare runoff for sheriff in a department rocked by scandals; LA hasn't had a Dem sheriff in 130+ years. Dem nominee wants more distance from ICE.
ALGOPMN-2DEMAlso: Many WI counties will hold advisory referenda on pot.TX | HouseGOPOrange Co., CABarnes (R)GOP Undersheriff Don Barnes advocates continuing circumventing'sanctuary' law. Democrat Duke Nguyen supports law. Plus various other scandals
AZGOPMN-3DEMCriminal justice & law enforcementWI | HouseGOPHillsborough, FLChristoner (R)GOP sheriff made a new partnership with ICE & is now running with prominent bipartisan endorsement. Dem challenger says he'd withdraw from ICE deal.
FLGOP*NJ-2DEMMorgan/Cullman, AL: bar sheriffs pocketing food fundsYes x2WI | Senate **GOPMarion County, INKerry Forestal (D)
GAGOP*NJ-3DEMFL: retroactive sentence reductions (#11)YESWill Dems have supermajority?Anne Arundel Co., MDFredericks (R)Candidates divided on 287(g) deal with ICE; GOP nominee supports while Dem opposes. But unlike elsewhere, county exec decides here.
IAGOPNJ-7DEMLA: require unanimous jury verdicts (#2)YESCA | House (keep)YesFrederick Co., MDJenkins (R)One of only MD counties with 287(g) with ICE. GOP sheriff a longtime defender of aggressive immigration enforcement. Dem challenger wants an audit.
IDGOPNY-1GOPFL, NC, GA, NV, KY, OK: Marsy's Lawall yes
CA | Senate (get) **
YesWashington Co, MDMullendore (D)Washington Co. does not have 287(g) at the moment, but Dem sheriff's GOP challenger wants to join that ICE program.
ILDEMNY-2GOPOH: crim justice/sentencing reform package (#1)NOIL | House (get) YesHennepin Co. (≈Minneapolis), MNHutch (D)Minneapolis will decide immigration policies, with GOP Sheriff Stanek, under fire for cooperating with ICE, facing reelection
KSDEMNY-11DEMNashville, TN: create a police oversight boardYESVT | House (get) YesWake Co., NCBaker (D)GOP Sheriff Donnie Harrison has been cooperating with ICE through a 287(g) deal since 2007. Dem Gerald Baker wants to end the 287(g) agreement.
MAGOPNY-19DEMWA: police training & accountability (#940)YES
VT | Senate (keep)
YesBuncome Co., NCMiller (D)Ashville. Open race. Quentin Miller (D) says central policy is deescalation. Vs: Shad Higgins (R).
MDGOPNY-21GOPImmigrationWill GOP keep supermajority?Bergen County, NJCureton (D)Sheriff Saudino's resignation has triggered an unexpected special election. A Dem, GOPer, & 3 indies running.
MEDEMNY-24GOPOR: repeal 'sanctuary' law (#105)NOAR | HouseYesDona Ana, NMStewart (D)Election put spotlight on "Operation Stonegarden" and its immigration implications. Kim Stewart (D) vs. Todd Garrison (R, former sheriff)
MIDEMPA-1GOPAbortionNC | House **BROKENUlster County, NYFigueroa (D)Sheriff Van Blarcum known for aggressive practices toward immigrants, welfare recipients. Lost Dem primary to Figueroa—but still on ballot as GOP nominee.
NHGOPPA-6DEMAL: affirms "sancticty of unborn life" (#2)YESNC | Senate **BROKENSalt Like City, UTRivera (D)
NMDEMPA-7DEMOR: ban on public funding (#106)NOOH | HouseYesIf you wish to learn more about sheriff elections: visit The Appeal: Political Report
NVDEMTX-7DEMWV: no state right to abortion (#1)YESOH | SenateYes(Note: major sheriff races were effectively decided in primaries in Durham, Charlotte, Milwaukee—in all cases to benefit of candidates running on reform, esp. on scaling back immigration cooperation)
OHGOPTX-23GOPEnergy/environmentAttorney General
OKGOPTX-32DEMAZ: higher renewable energy requirement (#127)NOTRIFECTAS: Will a party control
the state's government?

Each state listed
AL (GOP)GOPIncumbent Steve Marshall (R) faces Joseph Siegelman (D), son of former Governor.
SCGOPVA-10DEMSan Luis Obispo, CA: ban new oil wells & frackingNOAZ (GOP) GOPIncumbent GOP challenged in what could be a competitive race
SDGOPWA-8DEMCO: limit fracking (Initiative97/Prop112)NOCO (GOP) DEMMy preview: Demcorat Phil Weiser vs. Republican George Brauchler, best known for his "devotion" to capital punishment.
TNGOPGOP-held (tier 2 of 2)
won by Romney AND Trump
CO: compensate oil/gas companies (In108/Amendt74)NOFL (GOP) GOPMajor disagreement between Ashley Moody (R) and Sean Shaw (D). One of Trump's allies (Pam Bondi) leaving the position.
FL: ban offshore drilling; & ban vaping in workplace (#9)
YESCurrently a Dem trifectaMI (GOP)DEMOpen race for GOP-held seat; one issue where position could be important is implementation of marijuana referendum.
VTGOPAK-ALGOPNV: energy utility deregulation (#3)NOCADEMNV (GOP)DEMOpen race for GOP-held seat. Adam Laxalt won it in one of 2014's big surprise upsets, but then left to run for Gov.
WIDemAR-02GOPNV: higher renewable energy requirement (#6)YESCT *DEMOH (GOP)GOPOpen race for GOP-held seat.
WYGOPAZ-06GOPWA: carbon fee (#1631)NODEDEMTX (GOP)GOPGOP incumbent (Paxton) running for re-election against Dem Nelson. Paxton is indicted for securities fraud. TX Dems hoping they can finally break through in '18.
AZ-08GOPHousingHIDEMWI (GOP)DEMIncumbent GOP challenged in what should be a competitive race
than D/R stakes
CA-01GOPCA: enabling rent control (#10)NONJDEMCT (Dem)DEMOpen race for Dem-held seat.
OR: expand local bonding for affordable housing (#102)
YESORDEMIL (Dem)DEMOpen race vacated by Lisa Madigan; state Sen. Kwame Raoul (the Dem nominee) favored to keep seat.
San Francisco: corporate tax for homeless programs (#C)
YESRIDEMMD (Dem)DEMIncumbent running against challenger who demands "tough-on-crime" reforms.
MS-Sen (Top2)
Espy/CHSCA-50GOPSan Jose, CA: affordable housing bondNOWADEMMN (Dem)DEMOpen race for Dem-held seat; Keith Ellison is the Dems' nominee.
WA-09 (D/D)CO-03GOPTransportationCurrently a GOP trifectaNY (Dem)DEMOpen race for Dem-held seat.
FL-06GOPMany municipalities, counties, & states have big referenda on transportation/transit plans. Transport Politic details:DetailsALGOPoverall partisan count (27R-22D pre)26D-24R
FL-15GOPAZGOPSecretary of State (crucial for voting rights)
FL-16GOPLGBTQ rightsARGOPAZ (GOP) DEMClear contrast on voting rights between GOP nominee Steve Gaynor and Dem nominee state Senator Kattie Hobbs.
FL-18GOPMA: keeps ban on gender identity discrimination (#3)YESFLGOPCO (GOP)DEMGOP incumbent Wayne Williams vs. Jena Griwswold (D)
FL-25GOPPublic bankingGAGA (GOP) GOPBrian Kemp, who's overseen polling site closures & purges, is running for Governor. State Rep. Brad Raffensperger (R) vs. former U.S. Rep. John Barrow (D).
GA-06DEMLos Angeles: enable a public bank (#B)NOIDGOPIA (GOP)GOPGOP incumbent Paul Pate vs. Deidre DeJear (D)
GA-07GOPTaxes/RevenueINGOPIN (GOP) GOPGOP incumbent Connie Lawson (a member of Kris Kobach's election commission) has been sued for suppressive purges; running against Dem Jim Harper, who's run on voting rights.
IA-4GOPAZ: ban taxes on services (#126)YESIAGOPKS (GOP) GOPKris Kobach's seat. His successor could potentially reorient his legacy. Scott Schwab (R) vs. Brian McClendon (D).
IL-13GOPCA: repeal gas tax increase (#6)NOKSSplitMI (GOP)DEMGOP-held. Candidates are GOP nominee Mary Treder Lang vs. Dem nominee Jocelyn Benson
IL-14DEMSan Mateo & Marin, CA: sales tax for transportationKYGOPNV (GOP)GOPGOP incumbent Barbara Cegavske vs. Nelson Aruajo (D)
IN-02GOPCO: makes income tax progressive, raises it (#73)NOMISplitOH (GOP) **GOPKathleen Clyde (Dem) is running on stopping the voter purge methods SCOTUS just validated; Frank LaRose GOP) defends them.
IN-09GOPCO: bonds/taxes for transportation (#110)NOMSGOPOther statewide offices
KS-02GOPFL: new 2/3rds threshold for tax increase (#5) YESMOGOPCA: Superintendent of Public Schools ThurmondDem vs. Dem, but big contrast: Assembly member Tony Thurmond vs. charter school exec Marshall Tuck, with clashing visions of public education. Labor backing Thurmond.
KY-06GOPHillsborough (FL): hike sales tax for educationNEGOPCA: Insurance CommissionerDEMSteve Poizner (served in this position as a Republican from 2007 to 2011) vs. Ricardo Lara (Dem state Senator)
MI-01GOPBroward, Collier, Hillsborough (FL): sales tax for trans.NHSplitIA auditor (GOP)DEMDemocrat Rob Sand, running against GOP incumbent Mary Mosiman, is promising to investigat the problems and mismangagement of the Medicaid privatization.
MI-03GOPMO: 10¢ gas tax increase (#D)NDGOPMO auditor (Dem)DEMIncumbent Nicole Galloway is the only statewide Democratic office-holder other than Sen. McCaskill. Tight re-election race.
MI-06GOPNC: lowering cap for the state income taxYESOKGOPOH auditor (GOP)GOPGOP-held open race. The position will matter to redistricting because it has a seat on the new commission.
MI-07GOPOR: ban groceries tax, effectively ban soda tax (#103)NOOHGOPFL's CFO (GOP)GOPOne of the 3 members of Florida's Cabinet alongside the governor, would be very important to Gillum pushing thru reforms if he were to win the governorship
MI-08DEMOR: expand supermajority req. for revenue raising (#104)NOSCGOPFL's Comm. of Agriculture (GOP)DEMOne of the 3 members of Florida's Cabinet alongside the governor, would be very important to Gillum pushing thru reforms if he were to win the governorship
MI-11DEMWA: ban taxes on groceries, effectively ban soda taxYESSDGOPCounty & Municipal races
MO-02GOPHealth CareTNGOPAZ: Mayor of PhoenixRunoff5 candidates running to replace Greg Stanton, could go to a runoff
MT-ALGOPMA: nurses/patient limits (#1)NOTXGOPCA: San Diego city councilDEM [super.]Councilwman Lorie Zapf (R) vs. Jen Campbell (D): a Dem win could give party a supermajority on council to override the GOP mayor's vetoes.
NC-02GOPME: universal home health care (#1)NOUTGOPKY: Rowan County ClerkCaudillKim Davis (who refused to grant same-sex marriage licenses in 2015, and is now a GOPer) running for re-election against Elwood Caudill.
NC-08GOPGun controlWVGOPMD: Montgomery Co. ExecutiveElrichProgressive Marc Elrich (a Montgomery County Council member) as Dem nominee, vs. Nancy Floreen (running as an independent) vs. Republican Robin Ficker.
NC-09GOPWA: gun control package (#1639)YesWISplitMD: Anne Araundel Co. ExecutiveDEM: PittmanBIG for immigration: In a narrowly Clinton county, GOP executive swung toward aggressive anti-immigration policies, incl. 287(g). Dem nominee says he'd quit ICE partnerships.
NC-13GOP10 OR counties voting to let sheriffs block gun control.DetailsWYGOPTX: Harris Co. (=Houston) ClerkDEMImportant role in running Houston elections: Dem Diane Trautman wants to adddress low turnout & creating paper trail. GOP incumbent Stan Stanart drew controversy.
NE-02GOPEducationControl is currently splitTX: Harris Co. Judge/executiveDEMHouston: Dems think Linda Hidalgo could oust GOP incumbent Ed Emmett. Could also flip commission if they oust another R councilmember (Morman, Cagle.)
NJ-11DEMAZ: on expanding state's voucher program (#305)NOAKGOPUT: San Juan Co. CommissionNavajo cand.winsNavajo-majority county has long been led by a white/Mormon county commission. Legal rulings could change that this year. "DIstrict 2" is the key one. Read the preview.
NM-02DEMAnimal rightsCODEMSpecific legislative races
NY-22DEMCA: ban sale of products from caged animals (#12)YESILDEMAK House: #31 (D-caucusing)Dems are running House bc 3 GOP lawmakers caucus with them. 2 of the 3 barely survived GOP primary. 3rd (Paul Seaton) switched to Dems, running vs GOP.
NY-23GOPFL: ban dog racing (#13)YESLASplitCA Assembly: #15 (Dem-held)WicksIntra-Democratic battle between Jovanka Beckles (DSA member, backed by Sanders) and Buffy Wicks.
NY-27GOPChanging election methodMASplit/Dem-superCA Senate: #12 (GOP-held)DEMCA Dems lost their supermajority in a June recall; picking-up this GOP-held open district could be the key to regaining it. Anna Caballero (D) vs.Rob Poythress (R).
OH-01GOPFargo, ND: implement approval votingYESMEDEMCO Senate: #16 & #24 (R)2 GOP incumbents running in Clinton-districts: ousting just one could give Dems the Senate majority—perhaps a trifecta. [Ds are also defending: SD5, 11, 20, 22; GOP defending SD6, 13, 15, 30]
OH-10GOPLane Co., OR: implement STAR votingNOMDSplitDE Senate: #10 (D)DEMDems are likely to keep the trifecta (not that they do much with it) if Stephanie Hansen defends this seat. And they're favored, it's a Clinton district defended in 2017 special.
OH-12GOPMemphis, TN: eliminate ranked choice votingNOMNSplitFL Senate: #8, #16, #18, #36 (all R)R/R/D/RDems haven't held chamber since 1992. They need to gain 4 if Gillum wins. MCI Maps flags these GOP-held districts as the key. Also watch: #20/#22/#23/#24/#25.
OH-14GOPOtherMTSplitIA Senate: #49 (D), #41 & #7 (R)Bleeding Heartland has a preview of 11 competitive districts for Iowa Senate, a tough chamber for Dems. These are the 3 rated as toss-ups.
OK-5DEMAL: display ten commandments (#1)YESNVDEMMN Senate: #13 (R)GOPOne seat decides it all! Senate is split 33-33 with one vacant seat that'll be decided in a November special. (There are no other Senate elections here.)