The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Midterms Aftermath

A supporter listens as Democratic gubernatorial candidate for Georgia Stacey Abrams on November 7, 2018

Democrats woke up to a lukewarm victory. Buoyed by the suburban vote, they retook the House and won victories in Rust-Belt states that helped send Donald Trump to the White House in 2016. They also saw important wins in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan, all states key to Trump’s 2016 victory.

But Republicans won at least three close races in the Senate, setting up a majority that will allow them to have a major impact on the federal judiciary. Republican candidates also defeated several Democratic rising stars, including Florida gubernatorial hopeful Andrew Gillum and Texas’s Beto O’Rourke.

Here’s what else to keep in mind:

Too Close to Call: Votes are still being tallied in several states. In Montana, Democratic incumbent Senator Jon Tester’s fate is undecided. In Arizona, Republican Martha McSally holds a narrow lead over Democrat Kyrsten Sinema. And in Georgia, Stacey Abrams could still force Brian Kemp into a runoff in December if no candidate gets more than 50 percent of the vote. The Mississippi Senate race is similarly headed into a runoff.

Notables: Early voting by young adults was up 188 percent compared to 2014. The “diploma divide” is widening: 61 percent of non-college-educated white voters cast their ballots for Republicans, compared to 45 percent of college-educated whites. An unprecedented number of women will enter Congress come January, over 80 of them Democrats. Republican Marsha Blackburn made history as Tennessee’s first female Senator.

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The Blue Wave That Wasn’t

(Illustration by Thanh Do / The Atlantic)

Republicans expanded their slim Senate majority
“Democratic Senators Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, and Joe Donnelly of Indiana were defeated by conservative challengers who leaned heavily on President Donald Trump’s enduring popularity in their deeply red states. And in Texas and Tennessee, neither the insurgent energy behind Beto O’Rourke nor the middle-of-the-road appeal of former Governor Phil Bredesen could overcome the Republican lean of the electorate.” → Read on.

Democrats grab some power back in the House
“The outcome is in line with early predictions, though early returns Tuesday suggested that the scale of Democratic victories might be smaller than anticipated, and some pundits declared the hope of a blue wave dead.” →…

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