👋 Away Message: So we had a little scheduling snafu here at WTF HQ, where both myself and Joe (voice of the pod) double-booked ourselves with personal and professional obligations next week. Oopsie! Not a very great job using a calendar on my part, I guess. On the other hand, it appears the government isn't going to be open for business anyway... Unless something truly WTF-y happens, I'll see you all again on Tuesday, October 10th, because Monday is a holiday (Indigenous Peoples' Day).
In the mean time, try our little news aggregator tool – currentstatus.io – to keep you up-to-date on the daily shock and awe. Thanks for understanding and for being here. I'm going to miss you.
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1/ Senate control hinges on three states, while Republicans have picked up fewer seats than predicted in the House. Republicans, however, are still poised to win a narrow majority in one if not both houses of Congress. In the Senate, Democrat John Fetterman flipped a key seat in Pennsylvania, while Republican Ron Johnson secured reelection in Wisconsin. Democrats currently control 48 seats to the Republicans 49, meaning whoever wins two of the three elections in Arizona, Georgia, and Nevada will control the Senate. In the House, Republicans are expected to win the five seats they needed to take control, but a large number of the most competitive races remain uncalled. In midterm elections since World War II, the president’s party has almost always lost seats, but Democrats seem to have avoided the so-called “red wave” that some strategists predicted was going to be fueled by record inflation and economic woes. Only three times since World War II has inflation been as high as it is today heading into the midterms, and in all three cases the president’s party lost between 15 and 48 seats in the House. “It was a good day for democracy,” Biden said. “And I think it was a good day for America.” (Politico / Bloomberg / New York Times / Washington Post / NPR / CNN / NBC News / CNBC / Wall Street Journal / MSNBC / ABC News)
The candidates who made history in the midterms: the first female governors in Arkansas, Massachusetts, and New York; the first Black person to be elected governor of Maryland; the nation’s first openly lesbian governor in Massachusetts; the first openly LGBTQ person to represent Vermont in Congress; the first member of Gen Z to be elected to Congress. (Washington Post / NPR)
2/ Georgia’s Senate race is headed to a runoff after neither candidate cleared the 50% threshold needed to win outright. The runoff between Democrat Raphael Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker will take place on Dec. 6, with the Senate majority potentially at stake for a second straight election cycle. With more than 95% of ballots counted on Wednesday afternoon, Warnock had 49.4% of the vote to Walker’s 48.5%. About 35,000 votes separated the two candidates. Georgia law requires a runoff if no candidate clears 50%. (Politico / Axios / Bloomberg / New York Times / Washington Post / CNN / NPR)
3/ Voters in California, Michigan, and Vermont enshrined abortion rights in their state’s constitution in the first nationwide election since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June. Voters in Kentucky – where abortion is currently banned – rejected a proposed amendment to the state’s constitution to say that it does not “secure or protect a right” to abortion or the funding of abortion. Kentucky is the second state in the post-Roe era to reject an anti-abortion ballot measure. In August, Kansas voters rejected a proposed state constitutional amendment that would have allowed the legislature to ban abortions. (New York Times / Associated Press / Washington Post / Axios / CNN / CNBC)
4/ Democrats flipped governorships in two states, while Republican governors Ron DeSantis, Greg Abbott, and Brian Kemp all easily won reelection. As of Wednesday afternoon, gubernatorial contests in Nevada, Oregon, and Arizona remain uncalled. Thirty-six states states voted to elect governors last night. (Politico / Wall Street Journal / FiveThirtyEight)
5/ Trump was reportedly “fuming” at Mar-a-Lago last night after at least 14 of his endorsed candidates were projected to lose in their races. Trump was particularly upset as Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz and gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano both lost their elections in Pennsylvania. Out of 39 competitive races in which Trump endorsed a candidate, his candidates won 12 races and lost 11, with 16 still undecided as of Wednesday afternoon. Prior to any races being called last night, Trump send an email blast boasting of “unprecedented successes.” Later, however, Trump acknowledged that the results were “somewhat disappointing.” (CNBC / Forbes / ABC News / Politico / Washington Post / New York Times / Axios)
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