Stories by Harry Stevens

2018's midterms were the most unusual in modern history

Of the 18 midterms since 1950, there have been just five split decisions, where the House shifted towards one party and the Senate towards the other. And 2018's was the most split of them all.

Why it matters: Now that all of the races have been settled — with the exception of the California 21st district race — we can see how much of an outlier the 2018 midterms were. The split is also a sign of how Democrats dominated the suburban House districts while Republicans won the rural Senate states.

Data: The American Presidency Project, AP; Chart: Harry Stevens/Axios

The midterms winners who got outspent

Data: Federal Election Commission, AP; Note: Spending includes net operating expenditures from primary and general elections. Chart does not include unopposed winners or likely winners in races that have not been officially called as of Nov. 9, 2018. Chart: Harry Stevens/Axios

Most of 2018's midterm winners spent more money than their opponents. But some, like Texas senator Ted Cruz and incoming freshman congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, pulled out victories despite being outspent.

Why it matters: Candidates who outspend their opponents usually win. But some political obstacles are so large, even money can't overcome them.

The biggest midterm contributions went to the closest races

Data: Federal Election Commission via OpenSecrets.org, Cook Political Report; Chart: Harry Stevens/Axios

The tightest midterms races have attracted the most money, according to an Axios analysis of campaign finance filings.

The big picture: As the chart above shows, closer races have attracted the most donor money this election cycle. That's not too surprising, but even non-competitive races attracted a lot of money. In races where the outcome was assured, incumbent favorites crushed their opponents in fundraising.

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