But even the most politically minded editors in Opinion get tired of seeing the word “midterms.” With Hurricane Michael still trashing the south, we have been worrying a lot about climate change, which you can read about in this fascinating graphics-and-data-driven story on heat and humidity. We have also been thinking about the ongoing fight over a suit concerning affirmative action at Harvard (the trial begins Monday), which was brilliantly dissected today by Elise Boddie. And finally, in the did-I-just-read-that-in-The-New-York-Times department, Neil Pollack shared the heartbreaking story of his attempt to stop living his life in a marijuana fog.
Courting the veteran vote
A new story in The Times Magazine dives into Democratic efforts, or the lack thereof, to connect with veterans. We wanted to know more, so we asked Lauren Katzenberg, the editor of the magazine’s At War channel, to tell us about the story.
Democrats have a rare opportunity to gain a foothold against the Republican Party in the coming midterms. If they come up short, it may be in part because of a failure to pursue a key group of voters: military veterans. Here are three takeaways from our reporting:
1. Veterans make up 13 percent of the voting population.
They also enjoy high voter turnout (in 2016, veterans voted at a rate 6 percent higher than nonveterans) and are especially concentrated in some decisive swing states.
2. Democrats seem more focused on running veterans as candidates.
They tried that approach in the 2006 midterms, when they ran dozens of veterans as candidates under the banner of the “Fighting Dems,” but only six of them won their elections.
3. Republicans, meanwhile, are approaching the midterms with a seasoned ground game to mobilize veteran voters.
Republican staff members have built a permanent presence in veteran communities across the country. The conservative group Concerned Veterans for America, for example, has 12,000 active volunteers and a potent operation at work in 13 key states.
For the latest from At War, subscribe to their newsletter here.
What to read tonight
• It’s a move straight from Russia’s playbook. But American groups are behind it. Here’s how disinformation is spreading ahead of the midterms.