Morning Update: You Wouldn't Quite Call It A "Wave"

The Democrats take the house, Republicans keep the Senate, and the 2020 clock is on. Your BuzzFeed News newsletter, Nov. 7.

Democrats took the House, while Republicans held on to the Senate

Good morning,

As you might have guessed, America is still here.

It was a divisive election season that saw President Donald Trump rely on a message of fear, and the Democrats counter with an anti-Trump position. This is where things landed:

The overview in brief

It was a good night for the Democrats, who will take control of the House of Representatives — but still, not as good as they were hoping for.

In a victory widely seen as a rebuke of Trump, the party won in many longtime Republican strongholds that had flipped to Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.

Still, the “blue tsunami” did not come — Democrats struggled to expand their territory to districts where Trump won by big margins two years ago.

Meanwhile, Republicans predictably held on to the Senate — but the Dems always had bad odds of winning it, because it was a historically tough map.

What happened with the biggest races of the night?

The Democratic rising stars could not pull off upsets in their respective states.

  • Beto O’Rourke, the party’s big hope in Texas, lost to incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz. Because O'Rourke became a national sensation during his campaign, his fans are melting down over the result.

  • Stacey Abrams was trailing in the vote in Georgia, but she is not conceding the governorship. More on this in a second.

  • Andrew Gillum, an Obama-and-Sanders-backed candidate for governor, lost to Ron DeSantis in Florida.

8 milestone results you should know

Here are all the other historic firsts of this election.

Let’s talk about the major narratives

Yesterday, we talked about how this was an election of narratives. These are the major ones that emerged:

Who do the Democrats turn to? The stars of the party did not come away victorious last night, and this means it’s an open question of who will define the Democrats moving forward. But there’s also a crop of new hopes who just got elected — here’s who you should know about now.

Georgia on my mind. With the governor contest between Republican Brian Kemp and Democrat Stacey Abrams still too close to call, Abrams did not concede the race, and suggested voters were heading to a runoff election. Kemp is currently the state’s secretary of state, which means he oversees the results, but voters are suing to prevent that from happening. Still, Georgia is at the center of a battle over the future of democracy.

Women made history. Women candidates across the US won an unprecedented number of seats. At least 110 won elections across the country, taking over high-level political positions including House seats, Senate seats, and governorships. The women who won were a key part of the Democrats taking over the House. This is on top of being instrumental to building campaigns.

Voter suppression. In Florida, civil rights groups say “mega voting sites” are causing confusion. Meanwhile, Border Patrol agents had to scrap Election Day “crowd control” drills after they were accused of voter intimidation.

So what happens now?

Even though he called the results a “Big Victory,” Trump can’t escape the Republican defeat in the House. The president will own the biggest loss for his party, whether he wants to or not: crushing defeats in suburbs across the country.

As for the Democrats, with the House of Representatives, they’ve gained a powerful tool both to stop Trump’s agenda — preventing things like a repeal of Obamacare — and to fight back against the president, something the party’s frustrated, angry base is clamoring for.

Take the day off politics. Tomorrow, it will be 726 days until the 2020 presidential election.


Members of last spring’s caravan are now in Mexico to help with the newest one. Pueblo Sin Fronteras, the organizers of the previous caravan, didn’t organize the one currently making its way north. But the NGO was quick to rally people who’d made the trip before to help.

French police broke up an assassination plot they say was aimed at President Emmanuel Macron. Authorities arrested six members of what it called a far-right extremist cell and charged them with planning to kill Macron in what appeared to be the latest sign of potential violence in the lead-up to next year’s hotly contested European Parliament elections.

Theresa May is facing calls to sack her new housing adviser over his views on prejudice against Muslims and gay people. Conservative writer Roger Scruton, who was appointed to chair a new UK government commission on building “beautiful” homes, has claimed Islamophobia and homophobia are “invented” and that homosexuality is not “normal.”

Colorado dad Christopher Watts pleaded guilty to killing his wife, two daughters, and unborn son. Watts had publicly begged for his family to come home just one day before he was arrested as a suspect in their murders. Yesterday, he entered a plea deal that will allow him to avoid the death penalty.

The producer behind Despicable Me is going to reboot the Shrek series and people are not into it. Chris Meledandri, the founder of Illumination Entertainment, says the most difficult part of the project is creating "something that really does feel like it’s not simply yet another film in a series of sequels.” People’s reaction was that a new Shrek film would probably feel like exactly that.

This dad thought his daughter wanted to vote, but she actually wanted to boat

When McKay Coppins and his wife came back from voting, they found out their 5-year-old girl was upset she didn’t get to come. We’re talking in tears upset.

So they took her on a tour of the polling station and explained how the glorious democratic process works.

Then, as Coppins explained in a now-viral tweet, his daughter said she was upset because they thought they were going “boating.” People are absolutely loving this story.

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