Every Democrat senator in a red state who voted against Brett Kavanaugh lost on Tuesday. Heidi Heitkamp, Claire McCaskill, and Joe Donnelly all lost their bids for re-election. On the flip side, the only red state Democrat to vote for President Trump’s Supreme Court pick—Joe Manchin of West Virginia—was rewarded by voters by returning to his seat. Even Trump’s campaigning against Manchin couldn’t deny him his seat.
Clinton News Network’s grandstander in chief got into another verbal scuffle with President Trump. At a Wednesday news conference, CNN’s Jim Acosta pretended to ask a question, but instead gave a speech about his thoughts on Trump’s characterizing the caravan as an “invasion.” Acosta, known for his attempts to pick fights with Trump and White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders, refused to give up the microphone after the president answered his question and continued to challenge Trump on a TV ad his campaign ran. CNN should be ashamed of itself for employing Acosta, Trump said, bIecause he’s rude.
—QUOTABLE: “I tell you what, CNN should be ashamed of itself having you working for them. You are a rude, terrible person…You shouldn’t be working for CNN. You are a very rude person. The way that you treat Sarah Huckabee is horrible. And the way that you treat other people are horrible. You shouldn’t treat people that way.” -Trump
CNN responded to President Trump’s confrontation with their correspondent Jim Acosta in a statement Wednesday afternoon. And they are very, very disturbed. Trump’s “attacks on the press” are “un-American,” the network stated. The statement was in response to a heated exchange between Trump and Acosta after the correspondent picked a fight with the president over his characterization of the incoming migrant caravan as an “invasion.”
—QUOTABLE: “This President’s ongoing attacks on the press have gone too far. They are not only dangerous, they are disturbingly un-American…While President Trump has made it clear he does not respect a free press, he has a sworn obligation to protect it. A free press is vital to democracy, and we stand behind Jim Acosta and his fellow journalists everywhere.” -CNN statement
Democrats need to choose between bipartisan cooperation and investigations now that they control the House, President Trump said. Trump warned Dems on Wednesday that they can either cooperate cross party lines on trade, infrastructure, and healthcare, or they can launch investigations into his administration. Not both. The Democrats, who seized control of the House by more than the 23 seats they needed, will squander any chance of getting anything done with GOP help if they try getting their hands on Trump’s tax returns or launch a flurry of subpoenas.
—QUOTABLE: “If that happens then we’re going to do the same thing and government comes to a halt.” -Trump
President Trump has endorsed Nancy Pelosi to be the next Speaker of the House. In a tweet on Wednesday, Trump said Pelosi deserves to be chosen as the next speaker and even offered to help her get her old job back with some Republican votes to get her across the finish line, if needed. Trump congratulated Pelosi on Tuesday night after it became clear her party would win back control of the House.
—QUOTABLE: “In all fairness, Nancy Pelosi deserves to be chosen Speaker of the House by the Democrats…If they give her a hard time, perhaps we will add some Republican votes. She has earned this great honor!” -Trump tweet
Sen. Bill Nelson is refusing to concede his race against Republican Rick Scott. The Florida Democrat lost by a thin margin Tuesday night—less than 50,000 votes out of 8 million counted. In a brief statement, Nelson pledged to proceed to a recount. Scott’s lead of 0.4 percent triggers an automatic recount, which happens any time the margin is less than half a percent.
—QUOTABLE: “This race is over. It’s a sad way for Bill Nelson to end his career…He is desperately trying to hold on to something that no longer exists.” -Scott campaign spokesman Chris Hartline
House of Representatives
Democrats picked up a handful of seats in the House of Representatives — enough to give them a majority. No major surprises or upsets. Final margins are too be determined as slim vote margins are being reviewed and tabulated.
Ted Cruz fended off Beto O’Rourke in Texas.
Incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill, who toward the end of the race said she wasn’t one of the “crazy” Dems — her words — lost to her Republican challenger.
In North Dakota, Democrat Heidi Heitkamp fell to Republican Kevin Cramer.
Florida Governor Rick Scott defeated Democrat Bill Nelson for his state’s Senate seat. Scott was term-limited for the governor’s office.
It looks like Tony Evers is headed to victory in Wisconsin. He was neck and neck with Scott Walker all night long, but a bizarre 11th hour announcement that heavily-Democrat Milwaukee county had 45,000 ballots to be counted shook things up. Evers ended up taking home an astounding 38,000 of those votes. The Walker camp earlier in the evening publicly suggested they’d file for a recount — but until final numbers are in in this very close race, their options are to be determined.
Ron DeSantis beat progressive candidate under investigation for corruption Andrew Gillum in Florida’s governor’s race. At 40, DeSantis will be the youngest guv in the nation.
A Texas teen sent home after showing up late for his job at McDonald’s didn’t go home—he went and robbed another McDonald’s. 19 year old David Gomez-Beltran and his twin brother landed in jail after a car chase ended in a crash with two other vehicles. That chain of events began after Gomez-Beltran arrived late for his first day of work at another McDonald’s location. He then drove five miles and, still in uniform, claimed he was there to help with the night time rush at another of the fast food chain’s locations. In the back office, he held up the shift manager at gunpoint before fleeing with $1500 in cash. The two are in now in custody.
So-called comedian Chelsea Handler is getting naked to encourage people to vote. “You have to vote like your life depends on it! Vote!” Handler said while naked in a video post on Instagram. Handler has been vocal about what she sees as the takeover by white males, especially in the wake of the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation fight.
—QUOTABLE: “Republican Party = white male party. They don’t care about women and they don’t care about the future. They care about the past where all white men are in power. Rape is fine. Keep minorities and women down. All white men, oh, and Ben Carson.” -Handler in September
Robert Mueller could kick his probe into high gear after the midterms. The special counsel, investigating alleged Russian conspiracies to alter the 2016 election, has stayed quiet in the run-up to today’s elections. But he’s also been working behind the scenes, grilling a slate of confidantes of President Trump—some of whom, like Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen, are helping the investigation. While Mueller has honored an unwritten code that investigators like him shouldn’t make any major moves within 60 days of an election, all the signals are that if he has new indictments to hand down, he will do it within days or weeks.
The Trump administration re-imposed tough sanctions on Iran on Monday, a critical part of President Trump’s plan to pull out of the Obama-era Iranian nuclear deal. The new sanctions target Iran’s financial and oil industries in an effort to pressure the mullahs to abandon their nuclear ambitions. In response, Iranian president Hassan Rouhani was defiant, saying the nation now faces a “war situation.”
—QUOTABLE: “Treasury’s imposition of unprecedented financial pressure on Iran should make clear to the Iranian regime that they will face mounting financial isolation and economic stagnation until they fundamentally change their destabilizing behavior.” -Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin
The Supreme Court on Monday said it wouldn’t hear challenges to net neutrality rules. The rules, first put into place by the Obama administration, require all internet service providers to treat all online traffic the same, regardless of whether a website or online service wanted to pay more to have their content delivered faster. Several broadband companies had sued, asking the high court to consider the 2015 rules upheld by a D.C. appeals court. The court said no. But the Trump administration cancelled those Obama-era rules, meaning the whole thing is functionally a moot point.
Diddy is rallying for Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum. Sean “Diddy” Combs held a rally on Monday for the Democrat candidate and current Tallahassee mayor and was joined by Tiffany Haddish, DJ Khaled, Will Packer, and someone called Monica at the Florida A&M University event. Diddy said Gillum would be the first black governor of the Sunshine State, but he wasn’t endorsing him because of that—he also says Gillum is the “best man for the job.” Gillum, who has run into ethics troubles after FBI probes into corruption in Tallahassee city government, is in a tight race with Republican Ron DeSantis, but has been leading most of the polls.
—QUOTABLE: “He’s running a campaign for the people…I’ve spoken to him at length. I believe in him — his focus, his ideas, what he stands for.” -Diddy
The political prognosticators at the website FiveThirtyEight have increased Democrats’ chances of re-taking the House of Representatives—the firm, run by number cruncher Nate Silver—now says Dems have an 87.5 percent chance of taking control of the chamber when the dust settles. That a 7 in 8 chance, leaving the GOP with just a 1 in 8 chance of holding power in the House. That’s the widest gap since early August.
Democrats are hoping and planning for their biggest sweep of governor’s mansions in a decade. They are in a good position to pick up six, maybe as many as a dozen, of the seats from Republicans once today’s voting is over. Dems appear poised to win in Illinois, Michigan, and New Mexico—and they think they have good shots in Florida, Maine, Ohio, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Nevada. They also think they can win in a slate of typically red states. Republican governors currently outnumber Dem governors 33 to 16—but just a handful of pickups could significantly overhaul their party’s prospects in the states.
President Trump made his last-minute appeals to voters on Monday, telling supporters to get out and vote for Republicans. If the GOP loses, the media will blame him, he warned during a tele-town hall. The press considers today’s midterms as a referendum on him, Trump said, calling the election “very vital.”
—QUOTABLE: “Even though I’m not on the ballot, in a certain way I am on the ballot…The press is very much considering it a referendum on me and us as a movement.” -Trump
MEANWHILE — President Trump said Republican excitement headed into the final days before today’s election is at a “fever pitch.” Trump has been on a blistering tour of campaign stops in the final weeks, wrapping up with rallies in Georgia and Tennessee on Sunday, and 11 events in eight states in just the last week. In Georgia, Trump said there’s “electricity in the air.” We’ll find out tonight.
Billionaire Michael Bloomberg is planning a series of last-minute ads to influence the midterm elections. In $5 million worth of two-minute TV spots, the anti-gun power broker plans to speak directly to the camera, touting his so-called centrist positions against President Trump’s policies. The 76 year old Bloomberg also positions himself as a steady and experienced Washington outsider—a message fueling more speculation that the failed former New York City mayor is planning to run for president in 2020.
—QUOTABLE: “The country is deeply divided. The president and Republicans are fueling that division, and that holds us back as a nation. I’m unwilling to sit by and accept it.” -Bloomberg
An intern for Democrat candidate for Florida governor Andrew Gillum has been arrested. Shelby Shoup was cuffed and charged with battery after throwing chocolate milk at a group of College Republicans who were manning a table on the Florida State University campus. The milk was accompanied by a profanity laced rampage that included accusing the kids of supporting Nazis, accusing the College Republicans of supporting the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre, and throwing more milk at a passer-by who had the audacity to try de-escalating the confrontation.
—QUOTABLE: “FSU is a diverse community that values and respects each person. FSU expects each member of the community to embrace the values of civility and ethical conduct and obey the law. Regarding Tuesday’s incident, the individual was identified, arrested and charged with battery.” -University statement
The Supreme Court on Friday ruled that minors can sue over climate change. 21 plaintiffs—the youngest was 11 years old— brought the lawsuit that claimed that the Barack Obama administration encouraged the production of fossil fuels, which allegedly violated the plaintiffs’ civil rights. That means more carbon emissions, which violates the supposed rights of the plaintiffs. According to the Supreme Court, the lawsuit does have legal standing to proceed and should not be dismissed with going to trial first.
—QUOTABLE: ”And then there’s also the amendment with life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. One’s life is at risk with health and with having to leave our home.” -Mom of the youngest plaintiff
Gun-toting vigilantes are headed toward the U.S.-Mexico border. Apparently hearing a call to action from President Trump about the incoming caravan, the militia groups of American citizens are planning a caravan of their own and headed south. One such group is the Texas Minutemen, which plans to send 100 people to the border in an effort to support the actual military and law enforcement officials preparing for the caravan’s arrival.
—QUOTABLE: “We’ll observe and report, and offer aid in any way we can…We’ve proved ourselves before, and we’ll prove ourselves again.” -Shannon McGauley, Texas Minutemen
The caravan has split up. The 4,000 strong group of Central American migrants bent on reaching the United States broke into two when one group spent the night on the coast of Veracruz with the rest continuing their voyage north towards Mexico’s capital. The ones who stayed were angry that the governor of Veracruz backed off on an offer to provide buses to get them to Mexico City. But another group, mostly men and younger migrants continued walking and hitchhiking their way north. The split hints at dissatisfaction with the caravan’s organizers—American critics say those organizers are far-left interests bent on using a sympathetic group for political gain.
—QUOTABLE: “They’re playing with our dignity. If you could have only seen the people’s happiness last night when they told us that we were going by bus and today we’re not.” -20-year old migrant Gerardo Perez
The caravan is suing President Trump in a bizarre turn. Alleging their Fifth Amendment rights are being violated, 12 members of the thousands-strong caravan of aspiring illegal immigrants have filed suit claiming the Trump administration is in the wrong for trying to prevent them from seeking asylum in the United States. Despite the fact that none of them, by definition, are American citizens, the lawsuit claims that preventing their entry into the U.S. deprives them of life, liberty, and property. Or something.
—QUOTABLE: “The legal problem with Trump’s plan to stop caravan persons from entering this country is that Plaintiffs are seeking asylum, and Trump simply cannot stop them from legally doing so by using military, or anyone.” -Illegal alien lawsuit
—QUOTABLE: “…[N]o person… shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” -The Fifth Amendment
—QUOTABLE: “They should apply to come into our country. We want them to come into our country,” Trump said. “No nation can allow itself to be overwhelmed by uncontrolled masses of people rushing their border.” -Trump
A lesser-known woman who accused Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault has admitted she fabricated her claims in order to “get attention.” Judy Munro-Leighton had accused now-Justice Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct in a “Jane Doe” letter purporting to be from someone in Oceanside, California. But in a conversation with her on Nov. 1, investigators with the Senate Judiciary Committee verified the allegations were false. The woman is actually a liberal activist who is decades older than Kavanaugh and actually lives in Kentucky. Giving false information to a Senate committee is a crime. Thusly, Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley referred Munro-Leighton to the Department of Justice for criminal prosecution. He has already done so with another discredited accuser, Julie Swetnick.
—QUOTABLE: Asked why she sent the letter: “I was angry, and I sent it out.” -Munro-Leighton
—Asked if she’d ever met Kavanaugh: “Oh Lord, no.” -Munro-Leighton
—”It is illegal to make materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statements to Congressional investigators. It is illegal to obstruct Committee investigations.” -Grassley
The Secretary of Homeland Security says Tuesday’s elections will be the “most secure” America has ever seen. Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen at a Council on Foreign Relations event on Friday talked about the steps the federal government has taken to ensure unprecedented security, but cautioned that our elections are under “constant attack” and that the threat is always changing. The 2020 presidential election will be the true test for foreign interference, she said.
—QUOTABLE: “This is going to be the most secure election we’ve ever had…But as we all know, this is a dynamic threat. It changes by the minute.” -Nielsen
Republican lawmaker Mark Meadows says the FBI might have secretly recorded George Papadopoulos, a campaign aide to President Trump. The North Carolina Republican called on the bureau to release any tapes it might have of the embattled Papadopoulos. Republicans have been in the media claiming there’s potentially exculpatory evidence that would directly refute the entire premise for the FBI’s investigation into so-called Russian collusion. The FBI has admitted it used a human source as an informant against Papadopoulos, who may have recorded their exchanges.
—QUOTABLE: “If these ‘tapes’ do exist, the DOJ must make them available to Americans immediately…Their complete refusal to be transparent helps no one.” -Meadows