In 2018 I worked in California, Pennsylvania, and Missouri covering the 2018 midterm election campaign for The New York Times. I covered mostly rural, suburban, and agricultural regions of the country, and there I witnessed differing visions of how Americans understood their future and their country. America’s rural regions are often painted as monoliths fighting for tradition in a progressive world, but it is neither fair nor accurate to paint with such wide strokes. This is a gallery of both Democrats and Republicans from all parts of the country, where I saw ideological and cultural diversity of all sorts.
This is an edit of the different political assignments I photographed in 2018. Throughout the year I followed Conor Lamb (D-PA 17th District), Josh Hawley (R) for a Missouri Senate seat, Gavin Newsom (D) for California governor, and T.J. Cox (D-CA 21st District). In November, I spent election week driving around Missouri, and on election day I covered Hawley voting in Columbia, followed by his victory party in Springfield, Missouri.
These are not just photos of politicians giving speeches and shaking hands; they are photos of what these people and places looked and felt like. American political theater is quite often a circus, and I instead wanted to show a quieter and more organic dissection of how the people interact with politics. Every candidate I covered ended up winning their respective races, but what was most interesting was feeling the political pulse of the nation at such an important and chaotic time in American history.