Midterms Sundays 9p ET/6p PT

Colorado congressional candidates woo Hispanic swing vote

Demographics have shifted in the increasingly liberal state, with Latino votes the latest battleground


‘Castrating hogs’ in Iowa: Focus on farmers in key Senate race

Democrat Bruce Braley and Republican Joni Ernst are neck and neck in a Hawkeye State race with national implications

Election 2014

Hotly contested NC Senate race fuels ‘jaw-dropping’ spending

Incumbent Kay Hagan helped by women, African-Americans and big Democratic spending

Election 2014
North Carolina

Chronicling four bellwether races in three swing states – Iowa, Colorado and North Carolina – "Midterms" is a portrait of the campaigns, issues and individuals in the year’s most heated political races. AJ Schnack, who directed the 2013 film “Caucus” about the 2011-12 Republican race in the Iowa Caucus, gained unprecedented access to the candidates and their staffs, going inside races that have the potential for political upsets that could predict the national mood come November. An up-close, unbiased examination of U.S. politics, "Midterms" shows the personal and human side of running for office and the issues that may define the 2014 national elections, including health care, immigration and government spending in Washington.

In Iowa, where 40 percent of voters are neither Democrat nor Republican, "Midterms" follows two tightly contested races - the open seat contests to replace retiring U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D) and Congressman Tom Latham (R).  In North Carolina, U.S. Senator Kay Hagan (D) fights to become the first Democrat to win re-election in that state since the 1960s. Finally, in Colorado, Congressman Mike Coffman (R) battles to hold onto his seat in a re-drawn, super-competitive district.

Episode 1

Premiered Sunday, October 19, at 9pET/6pPT

The primaries are in full swing as Republicans look to select nominees in Iowa and North Carolina that can unite their voters, appeal to independents and allow them to take control of the Senate.  

Al Jazeera America goes inside the race for the first open Senate seat in Iowa as three candidates – retired energy executive Mark Jacobs, college professor/radio talk show host Sam Clovis and Iowa State Senator Joni Ernst – square off for the opportunity to face Democratic Congressman Bruce Braley. In a tight race, Ernst's quirky campaign ads (boasting of castrating hogs) could be the difference.

In North Carolina, Kay Hagan is considered to be one of the country's most endangered Democratic incumbents. N.C. House Speaker Thom Tillis squares off against Tea Party-backed Dr. Greg Brannon and Pastor Mark Harris. With the backing of the GOP establishment, Tillis hopes to avoid a lengthy runoff.

And in Iowa and Colorado, Schnack follows two of the most competitive Congressional seats in the country: the Iowa 3rd District House race for retiring Republican Tom Latham’s seat and the Colorado 6th District race where Congressman Mike Coffman and former CO House Speaker Andrew Romanoff are "in the fight of their lives." In the Iowa House race, a large field of Republicans, led by State Senator Brad Zaun, IA Secretary of State Matt Schultz and David Young, the former Chief of Staff to Senator Chuck Grassley, hope to clear 35% on Primary Day to avoid a District Convention, where anything could happen, while State Senator Staci Appel hopes to make history and become the first woman that Iowa sends to Congress.

Episode 2

Premiered Sunday, October 26 at 9pET/6pPT

As summer arrives, the campaigns hit parades, local festivals and state fairs, hoping to reach voters, all while looking ahead to the fall debates.

In swing state Colorado, Coffman and Romanoff are already meeting in community forums, hoping to persuade voters in their diverse, swing district. In North Carolina, the emergence of a Libertarian candidate could affect the outcome in November. And with the field set in both the Iowa House and Senate races, candidates begin to engage directly. 

Episode 3

Premieres Sunday, November 2 at 9pET/6pPT

In the final stretch, the candidates are gearing up for their first one-on-one showdowns, as money pours in from outside groups, hoping to influence the outcome. With just days to go before the election, all four races are still too close to call.