TOPEKA, Kan. — Traditionally red Kansas leaned left Tuesday night, electing a Democrat to the governor’s seat and rejecting Republican Kris Kobach, one of President Trump’s most ardent supporters.
The victory of Laura Kelly, a state senator, was powered in part by moderate, anti-Kobach Republicans crossing party lines. It paves the way for Medicaid expansion in the state, which had been vetoed by Republican Sam Brownback when he was governor.
At least one of the state’s four congressional seats went Democratic as the Kansas City suburbs continued their years-long drift to the left and upstart Sharice Davids, a former MMA fighter, unseated Republican incumbent Rep. Kevin Yoder in the state’s 3rd Congressional District.
The governor’s race was seen less a referendum on Trump than on Brownback, who passed a large tax cut in 2012 that destabilized the state government’s finances and made him deeply unpopular.
Kobach, the current secretary of state and a news-making firebrand known for hardline stances on immigration and voting requirements, had enjoyed near-universal name recognition in the state but also carried a large unfavorable rating. He supported reinstating the Brownback tax cuts, which were reversed by the state Legislature last year after moderate Republicans seized power from their more conservative counterparts.
For the Record, 5:38 a.m. Nov. 7: An earlier version of this post referred to Sharice Davids as a former WWE fighter. She is a former MMA fighter.
Florida elected Trump stalwart Rep. Ron DeSantis as governor today, rejecting Democrat Andrew Gillum's strong bid to be its first black chief.
DeSantis, one of the president's most vocal allies in Congress, shares his victory with Trump, the part-time Florida resident who repeatedly campaigned for him and against Gillum, Tallahassee's mayor, calling Gillum, without evidence, corrupt and incapable of doing the job.
Before Associated Press called the race, Gillum conceded.
Democrat Lauren Underwood defeated Republican Rep. Randy Hultgren in the far suburbs of Chicago, a high-profile pickup for Democrats in a district that President Trump won by nearly 4 percentage points.
Two years ago, Democrats said they would target the district, but it was considered a long shot, given Trump's popularity and Hultgren's history of defeating challengers by nearly 20 percentage points.
Republicans kept Senate control with a narrow majority helped by a favorable election map.
Despite widespread dissatisfaction with President Trump's performance, voters kept the Senate in his party's control and maintained Republicans' power to reshape the federal judiciary and to protect the president against investigations.
Along Sunset Boulevard, just past the hellish traffic on the 405 Freeway, is a heavenly place where Angelenos gather to vote.
At the Luxe Hotel, the official polling place for residents living in and around the Brentwood and Bel-Air areas, voters are treated to valet parking, finger sandwiches and a soothing tea dubbed "The Midterm Elixir."
Oh, there's also a flutist jamming out some Mozart and other classical gems.
Hours before polls closed on Tuesday, President Trump already was blaming retiring Speaker Paul D. Ryan for not doing enough to support his agenda and keep the House in Republican hands.
That bit of blame-gamesmanship is according to a Trump supporter who was on a call that the president had with surrogates as voters cast final ballots, but who asked to remain anonymous while talking about the private conversation. Trump’s criticism of Ryan, with whom he's never had a close relationship, was in keeping with the president’s comments to associates throughout the week leading up to election day.
In those earlier private exchanges, the supporter said, Trump sought reassurance that a political setback for Republicans — in particular the widely projected loss of their House majority — couldn’t be laid at his feet.
Republican U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn won a grueling, expensive contest Tuesday to become the first female U.S. senator from Tennessee, keeping a key midterm seat under GOP control.
The congresswoman defeated Democratic former Gov. Phil Bredesen by closely aligning her bid with President Trump, who drummed up support for her during three visits to the state that he won by 26 percentage points, including a rally in Chattanooga two days before the election.
Blackburn’s win represents a rightward shift from the retiring GOP senator she will replace, Bob Corker, who fell in line with Tennessee’s historical preference for more-centrist senators and at times was a vocal critic of Trump.