Dr. Regina Lea Wagner and Dr. Byron E. Shafer, “Affirmations for an Aging Electoral Order: The Mid-Term Elections of 2018.” Journal Article

Affirmations for an Aging Electoral Order: The Mid-Term Elections of 2018

Dr. Regina Wagner (University of Alabama) and Dr. Byron E. Shafer (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

The Forum (Volume 16, issue 4, p. 659-673)


At bottom, the election of 2018 produced one more iteration of an electoral order dominating American politics since 1992. So the main task of this paper is to elicit the structure of that order, drop the results of 2018 into it, and see how well those results fit. The key micro-analytic tools for approaching any election did work well in 2018, but cannot distinguish this election from other recent contests. The common journalistic focus on idiosyncratic elements of stability but especially change provides no real means of analyzing either. With the result that a focus on the structure of the modern American political world has to provide the tools for unpacking what proves to be an impressively stable electoral pattern.