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A1: The stories you need to read before your first conference call.
-- Fueled by deep dissatisfaction with President Obama and the direction of the country, Republicans won control of the U.S. Senate in Tuesday's midterm elections, picking up at least seven Democratic-held seats in a virtually clean sweep that left Democrats stunned. Republicans won seats in Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Montana, North Carolina, South Dakota and West Virginia, giving them a 53-seat majority. (Washington Post) In Alaska, former Attorney General Dan Sullivan (R) led Sen. Mark Begich (D) 49 percent to 45 percent with 97 percent reporting, as of 4:30 a.m., though the race had not been called.
-- Republicans made gains at the state level, too, winning key governorships in Illinois, Arkansas, Massachusetts and Maryland, and state legislative chambers in Nevada, Minnesota, New Mexico and West Virginia. Republicans will control at least 64 of 98 state legislative chambers, a new high-water mark in the modern era.
-- As of 4:30 a.m., Republicans had picked up at least 12 seats in the U.S. House, though that number is likely to grow. Reps. Joe Garcia (D-Fla.), John Barrow (D-Ga.), Brad Schneider (D-Ill.), Bill Enyart (D-Ill.), Carol Shea-Porter (D-N.H.), Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.), Dan Maffei (D-N.Y.) and Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) all lost on Tuesday night, and Reps. Ami Bera (D-Calif.), Scott Peters (D-Calif.), Steven Horsford (D-Nev.) and Pete Gallego (D-Texas) trail their Republican rivals, though those races are uncalled. Republicans also picked up Democratic open seats in Iowa, Maine, North Carolina and New York. Reps. Steve Southerland (R-Fla.) and Lee Terry (R-Neb.) were the only two Republicans to lose.
-- President Obama is expected to hold a press conference this morning to address the results. Advisors said Obama did not view the election results as a repudiation of his leadership, given that he never got to make his case on the campaign trail. (New York Times)
-- Reid's Take: Exit polls showed the electorate looked better for Democrats in 2014 than in 2010, but that wasn't enough to stop a clear Republican wave. The GOP won virtually every race that was close; the ones they didn't win -- the Connecticut governor's race, the Virginia and New Hampshire Senate races -- had no business being competitive in the first place. An indisputable Republican tsunami that will have Democrats asking themselves a lot of hard questions.
-- Front Pages:
How It Happened: A peak behind the scenes of the GOP wave.
-- Republicans fixed two glaring problems from the 2010 and 2012 cycles: They prevented crummy candidates from winning primaries by actively recruiting and bolstering stronger contenders, and they built turnout machines that rivaled Democratic efforts. Some highlights from an excellent look behind the scenes from our colleagues Phil Rucker and Robert Costa:
-- "Minutes after landing at Reagan National Airport one day early this year, many GOP Senate hopefuls found themselves besieged at baggage claim by people with cameras yelling questions at them about abortion and rape. This was no impromptu news conference but rather Republican staffers in disguise, trying to shock the candidates into realizing the intensity of what lay before them."
-- NRSC political director Ward Baker hectored Rep. Cory Gardner (R) until Gardner agreed to run against Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.). The NRSC dug up opposition research on Mississippi state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R), who narrowly lost a runoff to Sen. Thad Cochran (R). And Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell personally called to yell at Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), whose campaign was flailing in early fall. Roberts fired his 70-year old campaign manager at McConnell's insistance.
-- Tensions were mounting on the Democratic side, too. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's requests for million-dollar transfers from the DNC went unanswered until September, when President Obama agreed to take out a loan. Reid's chief of staff David Krone, a frequent critic of the White House, summed up the tension between the two sides of Pennsylvania Ave.: "I don’t think that the political team at the White House truly was up to speed and up to par doing what needed to get done." (Washington Post)
National Roundup: All the results you need in one glance.
-- Alaska: Attorney General Dan Sullivan (R) leads Sen. Mark Begich (D) by a 49 percent to 45 percent margin, with 97 percent of precincts reporting as of 4:30 a.m. Eastern Time. Former Valdez Mayor Bill Walker (I) leads Gov. Sean Parnell (R) 48 percent to 46.6 percent, a margin of a little under 3,000 votes. And Rep. Don Young (R) is leading his Democratic challenger by 11 points.
-- Arizona: State Treasurer Doug Ducey (R) defeated former Board of Regents member Fred DuVal (D) 54 percent to 41 percent to take the governor's mansion. Republicans kept the Secretary of State's office, the Attorney General's office and the Treasurer's office, but Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D) appeared to survive against state House Speaker Andy Tobin (R). Rep. Ron Barber (D) leads retired Air Force veteran Martha McSally (R) by 1,400 votes with plenty of precincts yet to be counted.
-- Arkansas: A clean GOP sweep. Rep. Tom Cotton (R) defeated Sen. Mark Pryor (D) 56.5 percent to 39.5 percent, and Republicans held all 4 U.S. House seats. Former Rep. Asa Hutchinson (R) defeated former Rep. Mike Ross (D) in the race for governor, and Republicans appeared to expand their majorities in the state legislature.
-- California: Gov. Jerry Brown (D) won re-election by an easy 15-point margin. But early returns show Reps. Ami Bera (D), Jim Costa (D) and Scott Peters (D) trailing their Republican rivals, though the Associated Press has not called any of those races.
-- Colorado: Rep. Cory Gardner (R) bested Sen. Mark Udall (D) 50 percent to 44 percent, and former Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck (R) easily won election to replace Gardner in Congress. A personhood ballot measure failed by a 36 percent to 64 percent margin, and a measure to require labels on genetically modified food failed by an even wider 30 percent to 70 percent margin. Former Rep. Bob Beauprez (R) led Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) 48 percent to 47.6 percent, a margin of about 6,000 votes, though more than 300 precincts have yet to report. Democrats won back both Senate seats they lost in recall elections last year.
-- Connecticut: Gov. Dan Malloy (D) appeared to eke out a narrow win over former U.S. Ambassador Tom Foley (R). With 80 percent of precincts reporting, Malloy led 50.3 percent to 48.6 percent, a 15,000-vote margin. Reps. Jim Himes (D) and Elizabeth Esty (D) both survived strong GOP challenges.
-- District of Columbia: City councilmember Muriel Bowser (D) took 55 percent of the vote to become D.C.'s eighth elected mayor. A ballot measure to allow marijuana for recreational purposes passed 69 percent to 31 percent.
-- Florida: So much for Crist-mentum. Gov. Rick Scott (R) won re-election with 48.2 percent of the vote, compared with 47 percent for former Gov. Charlie Crist (D), a margin of about 72,000 votes. Rep. Steve Southerland (R) lost his eastern Panhandle seat to Gwen Graham (D) by a little more than 2,000 votes, and Rep. Joe Garcia (D) lost his Miami-area seat to Miami Dade school board member Carlos Curbelo by a 3-point margin.
-- Georgia: Businessman David Perdue (R) avoided a runoff in his race for a U.S. Senate seat, defeating philanthropy executive Michelle Nunn (D) 53 percent to 45 percent. Gov. Nathan Deal won by an almost identical margin over state Sen. Jason Carter (D). And Rep. John Barrow (D) finally succumbed to businessman Rick Allen (R), losing by a 55 percent to 45 percent margin.
-- Illinois: Venture capitalist Bruce Rauner (R) ousted Gov. Pat Quinn (D) 51 percent to 46 percent. Former Rep. Robert Dold (R) won his old seat back, beating freshman Rep. Brad Schneider (D) 52 percent to 48 percent. State Rep. Mike Bost (R) sent Rep. Bill Enyart (D) packing by a 53 percent to 42 percent margin. The lone Democratic bright spot: Rep. Cheri Bustos (D) kept her seat in a rematch against former Rep. Bobby Schilling (R).
-- Iowa: Score one for pig castration. State Sen. Joni Ernst (R) beat back Rep. Bruce Braley (D) for an open U.S. Senate seat, becoming the first woman Iowa has ever sent to Congress. Ernst won 52.2 percent to 43.7 percent. Adding insult to injury, Republican Rod Blum beat state Rep. Pat Murphy (D) 51.2 percent to 48.8 percent to take Braley's seat. Former Congressional chief of staff David Young (R) beat state Sen. Staci Appel (D) 53 percent to 42 percent to win Rep. Tom Latham's (R) seat. Gov. Terry Branstad (R) coasted to a 6th term in office.
-- Kansas: Sen. Pat Roberts (R) scored a bigger-than-expected 53 percent to 42.5 percent win over investor Greg Orman (I). Gov. Sam Brownback (R), who was supposed to be toast, beat back state House Minority Leader Paul Davis (D), 50 percent to 46 percent. Republicans swept the statewide and Congressional races, none of which were particularly close.
-- Kentucky: Your next Senate majority leader: Sen. Mitch McConnell (R) won by a whopping 56.2 percent to 40.7 percent margin over Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D). McConnell's coattails didn't extend to the Kentucky state House; Democrats kept a narrow majority of at least 53 seats.
-- Louisiana: Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) and Rep. Bill Cassidy (R) are headed to a runoff after finishing with 42.1 percent and 41 percent of the vote respectively. Rep. Vance McAllister (R) will not be headed to the runoff; he finished fourth behind Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo (D) and physician Ralph Abraham (R). Abraham will be favored in November. So will former state Coastal Protection Authority Chair Garret Graves (R), who faces ex-Governor/ex-Congressman/ex-con Edwin Edwards (D) in the Dec. 6 runoff.
-- Maine: Well this is a shocker. Not only did Gov. Paul LePage (R) win re-election, he won with almost 48 percent of the vote. Both parties thought his ceiling was somewhere around 40, on a good day. Credit his feud with the Ebola nurse? Republicans also picked up the open 2nd district, where former state Treasurer Bruce Poliquin (R) defeated state Sen. Emily Cain (D) 47 percent to 43 percent.
-- Maryland: Another shocker: Businessman Larry Hogan (R) defeated Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown (D) 54 percent to 45 percent in the race for governor. Rep. John Delaney (D) trailed early in the evening, but he appears to have pulled out a one-point, 2,200-vote win over former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino (R).
-- Massachusetts: Let's go for three shockers in a row. Businessman Charlie Baker (R) bested Attorney General Martha Coakley (D), 48.3 percent to 46.7 percent, to win the governor's mansion. Retired Marine Seth Moulton (D) beat former state Sen. Richard Tisei (R) to claim the open 6th district, 55 percent to 40 percent.
-- Michigan: Hey look, something went right for Democrats. Rep. Gary Peters (D) easily defeated Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land (R), 55 percent to 41 percent, to win an open Senate seat. Gov. Rick Snyder (R) won a second term by a 51 percent to 47 percent margin. Rep. Fred Upton (R) won re-election with 56 percent of the vote. And DNC member Debbie Dingell (D) became the first person to succeed their spouse in Congress while their spouse is still alive. She won Rep. John Dingell's heavily Democratic district with 65 percent.
-- Minnesota: Remember when Sen. Al Franken (D) won by 300 votes? Not this time: Franken easily beat businessman Mike McFadden (R) 53 percent to 43 percent. Both Reps. Collin Peterson (D) and Rick Nolan (D) survived strong Republican challenges, and Gov. Mark Dayton (D) won by a closer-than-expected 50 percent to 45 percent margin.
-- Montana: Rep. Steve Daines (R) took 58 percent to win Sen. John Walsh's (D) open seat, compared with just 39.5 percent for state Rep. Amanda Curtis (D). Former state Sen. Ryan Zinke (R) will replace Daines in the House.
-- Nebraska: One of only two House Republicans to lose on Tuesday: Rep. Lee Terry (R) trailed state Sen. Brad Ashford (D) 48.3 percent to 46.3 percent, a margin of about 3,000 votes, with 79 percent reporting. Gov.-elect Pete Ricketts (R) and Sen.-elect Ben Sasse (D) easily won their elections.
-- Nevada: Cue that "Wipeout" song. Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) won re-election with 70.7 percent of the vote and dragged just about every Republican along with him, including Assemblyman Cresent Hardy (R). Hardy stunned Rep. Steven Horsford (D) by a 48.5 percent to 45.9 percent margin, or about 4,000 votes. Republicans also took the state Senate, Sandoval's biggest goal after his own re-election.
-- New Hampshire: Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D) staved off a strong challenge from former Sen. Scott Brown (R), 51.7 percent to 48.3 percent. Gov. Maggie Hassan (D) survived by a 5-point margin. But Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D) wasn't so lucky. She lost her seat for the second time in her career to former Rep. Frank Guinta (R), 51.3 percent to 48.7 percent.
-- New York: Two Democrats went down on Tuesday: Rep. Tim Bishop (D) lost his eastern Long Island seat to state Sen. Lee Zeldin (R) by almost 10 points, and Rep. Dan Maffei (D) lost his Syracuse-area seat to attorney John Katko (R) by an incredible 20-point margin. Confession time: If you'd asked us before today who Maffei was running against, we wouldn't have been able to answer.
-- North Carolina: State House Speaker Thom Tillis (R) pulled off the upset over Sen. Kay Hagan (D), 49 percent to 47.3 percent, or a margin of about 48,000 votes, putting Hagan in the long line of one-term senators. Republican David Rouzer, as expected, won retiring Rep. Mike McIntyre's (D) 7th district seat.
-- Ohio: Gov. John Kasich (R) won by a two-to-one margin over Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald, and Republicans swept all 5 statewide offices. Ohio Democratic Party chairman Chris Redfern resigned following the sweep. (Toledo Blade)
-- Oregon: Gov. John Kitzhaber (D) won by a narrow 49 percent to 46 percent margin over state Rep. Dennis Richardson (R), while Sen. Jeff Merkley (D) took a much bigger 17-point win over physician Monica Wehby (R). Voters approved a ballot measure legalizing marijuana for recreational use by a 54 percent to 46 percent margin, but they defeated a top-two primary proposal by a two-to-one margin.
-- Pennyslvania: Former state Revenue Secretary Tom Wolf (D) sent Gov. Tom Corbett (R) packing by a 10-point margin in what was really the only interesting contest of the night. Democrats held on to an open Philadelphia seat, and Republicans kept retiring Rep. Jim Gerlach's (R) seat.
-- Rhode Island: Treasurer Gina Raimondo (D) eked out a 40 percent to 36 percent win over Cranston Mayor Allan Fung (R), while attorney Bob Healey, of the Moderate Party, took a surprising 22 percent. Former Providence Mayor Buddy Cianci's comeback bid fell short; Democrat Jorge Elorza won the race with 53 percent. (Providence Journal)
-- South Carolina: Sen. Tim Scott (R) became South Carolina's first elected African American senator after cruising past his Democratic opponent by 24 points. Scott actually outperformed Sen. Lindsey Graham (R) by 6 points, or about 77,000 votes. Gov. Nikki Haley (R) won re-election by 15 points.
-- Texas: Attorney General Greg Abbott (R) easily defeated state Sen. Wendy Davis (D), 59 percent to 39 percent (Perspective: Bill White took 42 percent in 2010 against Rick Perry). George P. Bush won his Land Commissioner race with 61 percent. And former CIA officer Will Hurd (R) ousted Rep. Pete Gallego (D) 50 percent to 48 percent in the massive West Texas-based 24th district.
-- Utah: Well, it was close after all: Former Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love (R) beat Democrat Doug Owens just 50 percent to 47 percent in the open 4th district race.
-- Vermont: Wait, what? Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) took only 46.6 percent of the vote against businessman Scott Milne's (R) 45.2 percent. Because no one got to 50, the state legislature will pick a governor. Democrats maintain big majorities in both chambers, though.
-- Virginia: Perhaps the biggest shocker of the night: Sen. Mark Warner (D) defeated former RNC chairman Ed Gillespie (R) by just 12,000 votes out of almost 2.2 million cast, a margin of just 0.6 percent. It took a long time to call this race. The only thing that could have derailed what amounts to a very good kickoff for Gillespie's 2017 gubernatorial bid would have been if he'd actually won the Senate seat. State Del. Barbara Comstock (R) won Rep. Frank Wolf's (R) open 10th district seat by a 16-point margin.
-- Washington: Voters passed a measure expanding background checks to gun shows and private transfers by a 60 percent to 40 percent margin. Republican Dan Newhouse leads fellow Republican Clint Didier by 3 points, or about 3,000 votes, in the race for the open 4th district House seat (yes, they're both Republicans, Washington has a top-two primary system). The AP hasn't called the race yet.
-- West Virginia: Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R) will be the first woman to represent her state in the U.S. Senate. Capito took 62 percent of the vote over Secretary of State Natalie Tennant (D) to win retiring Sen. Jay Rockefeller's (D) seat. State Sen. Evan Jenkins (R) ousted Rep. Nick Rahall (D) 55 percent to 45 percent in the southern 3rd district, while former Maryland Republican Party chairman Alex Mooney (R) beat former state Democratic Party chair Nick Casey (D) 47 percent to 44 percent to claim Capito's seat. Republicans won back the state House, too, a big milestone in a state that's still got its share of yellow dogs.
-- Wisconsin: Gov. Scott Walker (R) beat Madison school board member Mary Burke (D) 52 percent to 47 percent to keep his 2016 hopes alive.
DC Digest: What's on tap today in DC.
-- President Obama has no public events on the calendar, but expect a press conference sometime today.
-- Vice President Biden has only one event on the calendar: A 6:30 p.m. reception at the Naval Observatory commemorating Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Dr. Jill Biden will address a National Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training event in Arlington this morning.
C1: The long reads you'll need to check out before tonight's cocktail party.
-- McConnell's team showed a top consultant for primary opponent Matt Bevin (R) a two-and-a-half minute attack ad before Bevin jumped in the race, as a warning. When Bevin got in anyway, McConnell immediately placed a six-figure ad buy blasting "Bailout Bevin." McConnell's team let it be known they had details of another possible rival's divorce, after which the candidate said publicly he wouldn't run. McConnell manager Josh Holmes moved to Louisville in the spring to take over what he saw as an ineffective campaign; on Tuesday, McConnell publicly credited Holmes with running a "flawless" campaign. (Politico)