November 6, 2018

What's at stake in today's vote? The different angles newsrooms are chasing.

Beyond President Trump, Tuesday's election carries with it all sorts of implications for coverage ahead.

In direct terms, ballot initiatives could, among other things: a) build a beachhead in Massachusetts to protect transgender Americans against Trump administration efforts to exclude them from protections; b) stop sheriffs in Alabama from pocketing funds intended to feed prisoners; c) put congressional redistricting in the hands of independent commissions in Colorado, Michigan, Missouri and Utah rather than with gerrymandering political hacks; and d) expand Medicaid in Idaho, Utah, Nebraska and make the expansion permanent in Montana.

In indirect terms, if Democrats take the House, Trump could face much more stringent congressional oversight. Such a result might demonstrate the limits of U.S. executive power to autocrats in China and elsewhere.

Here's a quick briefing for Election Day:

— The big prize, Congress, is also a place that has been shirking its job in recent years, Paul Kane and Derek Willis report. (ProPublica)

— What’s at stake for science-related issues in Tuesday’s election — from keeping farms clean to funding gun-violence research or rolling back the Trump administration's net neutrality wipeout. Localize this: The top science issue for each of the 50 states, plus Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. (Popular Science)

— Burn me once: How polling has changed since 2016. (HuffPost)

— The case for voting, and the little-known toll from unsung elders who had fought to do so. (Nikole Hannah-Jones)

— Roger Angell, on his first ballot while at war and his vote on Tuesday, at 98: ‘"What I said I would die for I now want to live for." (New Yorker)

— Pulled from NBC, Fox News and Facebook: Trump’s racist anti-immigrant ad (CNN)

— Targeting Sean Hannity's advertisers as the Fox News anchor joined Trump for a midterm campaign finale (Media Matters

— Analysis: He’s not even on the ballot. But Trump played the media again, with his hype of a caravan and his lockstep rallies, writes media critic Margaret Sullivan. (Washington Post)

— Remembering the basics: David Yarnold’s “accuracy checklist.” 

Quick hits

GETTING CREATIVE: Two stories in two days show how The Boston Globe is funding accountability journalism, Dan Kennedy reports. On Sunday, the Spotlight team partnered with the Philadelphia Inquirer to show how on how Catholic bishops have failed in their response to the sexual abuse crisis. Then came Monday’s piece on attempts to hack America’s voting system. Both, well needed, were done through outside funding. (h/t Bill Mitchell and Rick Edmonds)

ADIEU OATH: The umbrella group's name for Huffington Post and Yahoo, among others, never caught on. It will be rebranded as Verizon Media Group, reports Ashley Carman for The Verge.

REVENGE?: Coordinated Saudi Twitter accounts are trying to stir up a boycott of Amazon, whose chief owns The Washington Post. Why? Because the newspaper has provided unblinking coverage of the Saudi murder of Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

THE READ: "In order to build a successful enterprise, you have to identify a clear mission from the outset and find effective ways to share that mission with your people." How a publishing empire began from a house in suburban Boston. By Glenn Rifkin in Fast Company.

MOVES: TIME’s editor-in-chief, Edward Felsenthal, has been named CEO as well. The publication was purchased in September by Salesforce founder Marc Benioff and his wife, Lynne.  

Also on Poynter:

  • Here’s how got full-page ads into every known U.S. college paper. That’s 1,300 of them. By Barbara Allen.

  • Illinois has a comprehensive public salaries database. Does your state? By Ren LaForme.

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Got a tip or a link? Please email me at or reach me @dabeard.

If you're in the United States, have a good Election Day. See everyone on Wednesday.


More midterms coverage:

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Ren LaForme is the Managing Editor of He was previously Poynter's digital tools reporter, chronicling tools and technology for journalists, and a producer for…
Ren LaForme
Barbara Allen is the director of college programming for Poynter. Prior to that, she served as managing editor of She spent two decades in…
Barbara Allen

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