1/ Democrats won back the House for the first time in eight years, picking up at least 27 seats to give the party a check on Trump and the GOP’s economic policy. “Tomorrow will be a new day in America,” Nancy Pelosi said in a victory speech. “Today is more than about Democrats and Republicans. It’s about restoring the Constitution’s checks and balances to the Trump administration.” Some key races are still too close to call as of Wednesday morning. (Washington Post / New York Times / Politico / CNBC)

  • Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, the pro-Russia Republican incumbent, lost to Democrat Harley Rouda in California’s 48th House district. (Daily Beast / New York Times)

  • The Nevada brothel owner who died last month won in the race for Nevada’s 36th Assembly District. County officials will appoint a Republican to take his place in the seat. (NBC News)

  • Trump described the midterm election as “great” for Republicans, but vowed to turn the tables on Democrats who investigate him and his administration. “If the Democrats think they are going to waste Taxpayer Money investigating us at the House level, then we will likewise be forced to consider investigating them for all of the leaks of Classified Information, and much else, at the Senate level. Two can play that game!” Trump tweeted. Mitch McConnell cautioned Democrats against engaging in “presidential harassment.” (Washington Post)

2/ Republicans increased their majority in the Senate, building on their one-seat majority in the chamber by winning Democratic seats in Indiana, North Dakota and Missouri. (New York Times / The Guardian / Washington Post)

  • Ted Cruz narrowly defeated Beto O’Rourke. With 99% of precincts reporting, Cruz had 50.9%, or 4,228,832 votes, and O’Rourke had 48.3%, or 4,015,082 votes. (New York Times / Politico)

  • The Florida Senate race between Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson and Republican Gov. Rick Scott is headed to a recount. The two candidates are separated by fewer than 35,000 votes, with Scott holding the slim lead. (Politico)

  • Montana Democratic Sen. Jon Tester is the apparent winner in his bid for re-election to a third term. Tester voted no on Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court. (CNBC)

  • Mitt Romney won a U.S. Senate seat in Utah. (NBC News)

3/ Democrats flipped at least 7 governorships. The race remained too close to call in Georgia, where Democrat Stacey Abrams was running to become the first African American female governor. Democrats flipped the governorships in Wisconsin, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Illinois, Nevada and New Mexico. (Washington Post)

  • Stacey Abrams, the Democratic candidate for Georgia governor, refused to concede the race and said she was prepared to face Brian Kemp in a runoff. With 100% of precincts reporting, Kemp had 50.4%, or 1,971,884 votes, and Abrams has 48.7 percent, or 1,907,302 votes. Under Georgia law, if no candidate wins more than 50% of the vote, then the top two vote getters advance to a runoff election. Kemp, who oversees elections as secretary of state, has until Nov. 20 to officially certify the election. A candidate cannot officially request a recount until the certification. Abrams is seeking to become the first African-American woman elected governor in U.S. history. He campaign said they believed thousands of absentee and mail-in ballots are still coming in. (NBC News)

  • Under Kemp, Georgia purged more than 1.5 million voters from the rolls – 10.6% of voters – from 2016 to 2018. The state shut down 214 polling places, mostly minority and poor neighborhoods, and from 2013 to 2016, the state blocked the registration of nearly 35,000 Georgians, including newly naturalized citizens. (The Atlantic)

  • Kemp’s voter card said “invalid” when he tried to vote. He had to go back and get another card after unsuccessfully trying to vote. (WSBTV / The Hill)

  • The first openly gay man was elected governor in Colorado. Jared Polis will also be the state’s first Jewish governor. (BuzzFeed News / Vice News)

  • Democrat Laura Kelly defeated Kris Kobach in the race to be the next governor of Kansas. Kobach was the vice-chair of Trump’s now-disbanded commission on voter fraud. (Talking Points Memo)

4/ At least 111 women were elected to office, including the first Native American and first Muslim women. At least 96 women were elected – surpassing the current record of 84 – with 40 women of color headed to the House. Maine and South Dakota also elected their first female governors. The GOP elected several women, with Marsha Blackburn becoming Tennessee’s first female senator. In New York, Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez became the youngest woman ever elected to Congress at age 29, followed shortly by Iowa Democrat Abby Finkenauer. (Politico / Bloomberg / Axios)

  • A list of of firsts for women: The next Congress will include the first Muslim women, the first Native American women, and the youngest woman ever elected to that body. (NPR)

  • Democrats Sharice Davids and Deb Haaland became the first Native American women elected to Congress. (CNN)

  • Sharice Davids is the first openly LGBTQ Kansan elected to Congress. (NBC News)

  • Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar are the first muslim women elected to Congress. (BuzzFeed News / CNN)

  • Ocasio-Cortez is youngest woman elected to Congress. (CNN)

  • The Kentucky county clerk who defied the Supreme Court and was jailed in 2015 for her refusal to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples lost her re-election for Rowan County clerk. Kim Davis lost by fewer than 700 votes among nearly 7,800 cast. (New York Times / The Hill)

  • The GOP congressman, who once lamented that he could no longer call women “sluts,” lost to a woman. Jason Lewis lost his seat to Democrat Angie Craig. (CNN)

5/ Florida voters reinstated voting rights for an estimated 1.5 million former felons. Amendment 4 automatically reinstates voting rights for people with felony convictions upon completion of their sentences, including prison, parole and probation. Excluded are those convicted of murder or a felony sexual offense. (CNBC)

6/ Jeff Sessions resigned at Trump’s request. Matthew Whitaker – Sessions’s chief of staff – will take over as acting attorney general and assume oversight of Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, and possible collusion by Trump’s campaign. Rod Rosenstein was overseeing the probe because Sessions had recused himself from any involvement with the special counsel. A DOJ spokesperson indicated that Whitaker would take over “all matters under the purview of the Department of Justice” – including the Mueller probe. Trump has repeatedly attacked Sessions for recusing himself from oversight of the probe in 2017 after it was revealed that he had met more than once with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. during the 2016 campaign despite saying he had not met with any Russians during his confirmation hearing. Mueller, meanwhile, has been looking into Trump’s previous statements about wanting to fire Sessions or force his resignation to determine whether those acts are part of a pattern of attempted obstruction of justice. Whitaker by law can serve as acting attorney general for a maximum of 210 days. (New York Times / Washington Post / Politico / CNBC / Wall Street Journal)

  • In a 2017 opinion piece, Whitaker called for Mueller to “limit the scope of his investigation.” Whitaker also previously discussed how a Sessions replacement could reduce Mueller’s budget “so low that his investigation grinds to almost a halt.” (Washington Post)

  • The incoming Democrat set to take control of the House Judiciary Committee pledged to scrutinize Sessions’s firing and the promotion of his chief of staff to acting attorney general. (Mother Jones)

7/ House Democrats are prepared to open multiple investigations of Trump when they take control in January. The House Judiciary Committee is expected to focus on health care, beginning with an investigation of Sessions’s refusal to defend the Affordable Care Act against a lawsuit from Republican-led states. The House Intelligence Committee is expected to revisit Russian election meddling. The Education and Workforce Committee will likely examine Betsy DeVos’s efforts to relax regulations for for-profit colleges and limit student loan forgiveness, and the Ways and Means Committee could use a 1924 law to request Trump’s tax returns and then make them public with a simple majority vote. (Washington Post / Politico)

  • Trump said he would take a “warlike posture” to any attempts by Democrats to investigate his administration. “They can play that game, but we can play it better, because we have a thing called the United States Senate.” Sarah Huckabee Sanders also warned that Democrats shouldn’t “waste time” investigating Trump, urging them to not “be the party of resist and obstruct” but rather work with Trump to “solve some of the big problems that we’ve been leading on over the last two years.” Trump promised to make “beautiful” deals with Democrats. (Washington Post / Politico / New York Times / Daily Beast / ABC News)

8/ Trump Jr. told friends he expects to be indicted by Mueller soon. One former West Wing official who testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee, said “I’m very worried about Don Jr.,” fearing that Mueller could demonstrate that Trump Jr. perjured himself after he testified that he never told his father beforehand about the June 2016 Trump Tower with Russian officials promising “dirt” on Hillary Clinton. Mueller is expected to submit his final report to the Justice Department in the coming months. John Kelly and former White House counsel McGahn urged Trump to wait until Mueller issues his report to fire Sessions. (New York Magazine / Politico / Vanity Fair)

9/ Two more associates of Roger Stone testified before Mueller’s grand jury. Mueller is aggressively pursuing the question of whether the longtime adviser to Trump had advance knowledge of WikiLeaks’s plans to release hacked Democratic emails. At least nine Stone associates have been contacted by prosecutors so far. (Washington Post)

🔥 Hot Takes and 📊 Exit Polls.

  1. Suburbs defect as Trump’s base holds. The divergent outcomes in the House and Senate exposed an ever-deepening gulf separating rural communities from America’s cities and suburbs. (New York Times)

  2. The 2018 midterm elections were a referendum on Trump. Two-thirds of voters said the president was a factor in how they voted. (Washington Post)

  3. Checks and balances are coming. Trump will face new levels of scrutiny from Congress, but despite Democratic gains he looks in a strong position for 2020. (The Guardian)

  4. Health care trumps the economy. 41% of voters cited health care as their most important issue, while 23% named immigration, and 21% named the economy – the only time in at least a decade that it hasn’t topped the list. (NBC News)

  5. Historically high turnout and young voter surge for Democrats. 60% of white men voted for the Republican party while white women were split between the two parties. (The Guardian)

  6. Trump a major factor in 2018 midterm election voting. 44% of midterm voters approve of Trump’s job performance. (CBS News)

  7. 41% approve of Robert Mueller’s handling of the Russian investigation into interference in the 2016 election. 46% disapprove. 41% think the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election is mostly while 54% think it’s politically motivated. (NBC News)


  1. Trump will meet with Putin this weekend in Paris. The French had asked the Americans and Russians not to hold the meeting for fear that it would overshadow an event to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. (New York Times)

  2. Ivanka Trump’s fashion brand won 16 new trademarks from the Chinese government – three months after announcing that her brand was shutting down. (Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington)

  3. Trump is expected to sign an executive order to revamp the U.S. asylum system this week. According to the directive, asylum seekers will be required to go to a port of entry to make a claim. Current U.S. law requires “any alien who is physically present” in the country to apply for asylum within a year of arriving. (Wall Street Journal)