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Dispatches: Our Coverage of the Forces at Play in the 2018 Election Cycle

News and notes from Pacific Standard staff and contributors.
President Donald Trump speaks before signing the National Defense Authorization Act, on December 12th, 2017, in Washington, D.C.

President Donald Trump speaks before signing the National Defense Authorization Act, on December 12th, 2017, in Washington, D.C.

Political season is heating up. The 2018 mid-term elections are quickly approaching, and, in the era of Trump, there are signs that this cycle will be a contentious one.

Our coverage illustrates the competing forces that will be at play in 2018 and beyond. Senior staff writer Tom Jacobs has written multiple pieces about the mindset of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton voters in recent weeks, while contributing writer Seth Masket considered both how the Democrats think they can regain control of the House of Representatives, and the unrealized potential of Joe Biden—and how that relates to his current favor among party voters. Concerning potential threats to democracy, Michael Isaac Stein wrote about the potential of further interference in political issues by foreign governments via social media.

The lifeblood of a healthy democracy is a combination of open discourse and complete representation. At Pacific Standard we provide a platform for the free exchange of ideas and lend our audience to voices looking to become more involved in governance across the United States.

Recently, we posted a story that profiles three first-time female candidates who have each decided to run for office in the wake of Trump's election. Austin Monthly editor Megan Kimble spoke to Deedra Abboud, Mai Khanh Tran, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for Pacific Standard about the stories that motivated each one of them to run for elected positions. These women are just one part of a national groundswell of female candidates who are seeking more equal representation of women in elected positions to better match the demographics of the country.

These profiles cohere with our history of giving voice to nascent candidates who are looking to shake up the norm. Last year, Erica Berry profiled Minnesota state representative Ilhan Omar, America's first Somali-American legislator. And, this past week, contributing writer David M. Perry spoke with his local House representative, Betty McCollum, in the same state about what the Democrats plan to do if they re-take the House in 2018.

These people are at the forefront of political change. By giving them a voice we play one role in the discourse that will promote a healthy evolution of American politics.

This dispatch originally appeared in The Lede, the weekly Pacific Standard email newsletter for premium members. The Lede gives premium members greater access to Pacific Standard stories, staff, and contributors in their inbox every week. While helping to support journalism in the public interest, members also receive a print magazine subscription, early access to feature stories, and access to an ad-free version of