Part of a podcast series

The Fifth Estate

View all episodes in this series

US Midterms and Beyond

Listen to US Midterms and Beyond

Photo of three people on stage

Sally Warhaft, Bob Carr and Dennis Altman

The 2018 midterm elections in the United States will be held on Tuesday 6 November. In the heated, highly partisan atmosphere in Washington – and indeed across the whole of the United States – the stakes feel higher than ever. Two years into Donald Trump’s presidency, the midterms are a test of his often controversial administration.

In the lead-up to the big day, Sally Warhaft dissects the polls, candidates and analysis with former Foreign Affairs Minister Bob Carr and La Trobe University academic Dennis Altman.

Carr is a former New South Wales Premier, and is currently a professor of international relations at the University of Technology Sydney, researching foreign policy, economics, international relations, national defence and security and Chinese politics. Altman is a leading writer and academic whose work focuses on sexuality, HIV/AIDS, Australian politics and US politics – in domestic and international contexts.

The House and Senate are both ruled by the Republicans, but this could all change after the midterms, with all 435 seats in the House of Representatives in contention and a third of the Senate up for grabs. A Democratic swing could even spark an impeachment motion. In conversation with Sally Warhaft, Carr and Altman discuss the possible outcomes and their consequences for the Australia and the region.


Portrait of Sally Warhaft

Sally Warhaft

Sally Warhaft is a Melbourne broadcaster, anthropologist and writer. She is the host of The Fifth Estate, the Wheeler Centre’s live series focusing on journalism, politics, media, and international relations, and The Leap Year, a Wheeler Centre podcast about Australians' lives in the fog of the Covid-19 pandemic. She is a former editor of the Monthly magazine and the author of the bestselling book Well May We Say: The Speeches that Made Australia.

Sally is a regular host and commentator on ABC radio and has a PhD in anthropology. She did her fieldwork in Mumbai, India, living by the seashore with the local fishing community.

Portrait of Bob Carr

Bob Carr

Bob Carr is a former premier of New South Wales and a former senator, serving as Minister of Foreign Affairs from March 2012 to September 2013.

Portrait of Dennis Altman

Dennis Altman

Dennis Altman is Emeritus Professor and Professorial Fellow in the Institute for Human Security at LaTrobe University in Melbourne. 

He is the son of Jewish refugees, and a writer and academic who first came to attention with the publication of his book Homosexual: Oppression & Liberation in 1972. This book, which has often been compared to Germaine Greer’s Female Eunuch and Peter Singer’s Animal Liberation, was the first serious analysis to emerge from the gay liberation movement, and was published in seven countries, with a readership which continues today. (In 2012 University of Queensland Press issued a 40th anniversary edition, and an anthology based on the book, After Homosexual, was published in 2014.) 

The Fifth Estate

The important stories of the day – off the front pages.

Sally Warhaft hosts a dizzying array of guests from the worlds of politics, culture, international relations and beyond, in a witty and revealing analysis of current affairs.