Voters get their say in 2018 midterm elections

November 6, 2018

Will pundits’ election predictions of a blue wave, a ‘Year of the Woman’ and a surge of voters motivated by healthcare concerns all pan out? And will evangelical voters continue to show support for President Trump? USC experts are available on Election Day for interviews and commentary, including at our Election Watch Party starting at 4 p.m. at Wallis Annenberg Hall on University Park Campus.

Contact: Jenesse Miller at (213) 810-8554 or

Will women candidates make history?

“The midterm elections are widely expected to usher in this century’s ‘Year of the Woman’ — an explosion of women entering government. More female lawmakers would better align the U.S. government with the nation’s demographics. And, research suggests, it might just lead to more compromise and better policy.

“Massachusetts will likely elect its first black woman to Congress, Arizona is poised to send its first woman to the U.S. Senate, and fully 50 percent of Democratic congressional nominees this year are women. But the Golden State’s midterm election contests skew very male.”

Christina Bellantoni is director of the USC Annenberg Media Center and originally wrote about this issue here.

Contact: (213) 740-3874 or

A backlash against Trump’s political tribalism?

“The election results will likely reflect a backlash against Trump’s political tribalism, at least in some places. Women, younger voters and members of marginalized groups have expressed outrage over the travel ban, the separation of families, militarization at borders, sexist comments and constant xenophobic rhetoric.

“The sheer number of women and minorities running as candidates is encouraging. It is a positive development at a time when there is a pervasive sense of despair about politics. With the U.S. Supreme Court turning to the right, other branches of government will need to champion the rights of minority groups as much as possible.”

Alison Dundes Renteln is a professor of political science at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.

Contact: (213) 740-3248 or

Will evangelicals continue to support President Trump?

“Donald Trump’s ascent to the presidency has brought the culture, fault-lines and political commitments of American evangelicalism into sharp relief.

“How did a candidate whose lifestyle and morals starkly contradict conservative Christian teaching win the votes of more than 80 percent of white evangelicals? And as Trump and his administration has been plagued by accusations of corruption, lies and extra-marital affairs, why have white evangelicals and some evangelicals of color continued to support him?”

Richard Flory is senior director of research and evaluation for the USC Center for Religion & Civic Culture (CRCC) and Diane Winston is the Knight Chair in Media and Religion at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. The Varieties of American Evangelicalism is a new report from the CRCC.

Contact: 213-821-5388, or

Can politicians turn down the heat on health care costs?

“Anger over rising health care prices is boiling over in California. The U.S. spends nearly twice as much on health care per person as other high-income countries, yet we do not have better outcomes.

“This higher spending is not because we use more health care services, but because we pay higher prices, particularly those with private insurance. On average, private insurers pay hospitals about 75 percent more than Medicare and Medicaid for the same service.”

Dana Goldman is director and Erin Trish is associate director of health policy at the USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics. Their commentary originally appeared in the Sacramento Bee.