(CNN) — Welcome to a special midterm elections edition of 5 Things. The blue wave rolled through the House but hit a red wall in the Senate. That’s the split decision America delivered. Here’s what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door. (You can also get “5 Things You Need to Know Today” delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here.)
1. Midterm elections
So, what did we learn about ourselves as a country after these more-contentious-than-normal midterms? We’re still divided. And that’s reflected in the opposite trends in the House and Senate results. CNN’s Stephen Collinson explains that the political and cultural gulf between diverse and affluent liberals in big cities and suburbs and mostly white, working-class voters in rural areas has never seemed wider.
The election was most definitely a referendum on President Trump. Nearly 4 out of 10 voters said their vote was a sign of opposition to him. But you can’t deny, by virtue of that strong GOP showing in the Senate, that Trump’s allure endures for a big swath of the country.
As for the much-talked-about blue wave, it gave Democrats something big — the House — but didn’t quite deliver the cathartic punch they’d been craving since 2016. Here are more takeaways from the 2018 midterms, and you can get the latest updates and results on all the races right here.
2. House and Senate races
As expected, the Democrats won control of the House of Representatives. CNN projects the Dems will gain as many as 35 seats in the chamber. It’s a huge victory for the party, which was shut out of power after President Trump’s big win two years ago. And it’s an even bigger setback for the President, who will no doubt have to contend with a dizzying array of investigations brought by the newly empowered Democrats.
The Republicans not only kept the Senate, but they increased their majority. They knocked off two vulnerable red state Democrats in North Dakota and Indiana and fought off Democratic challenges in Texas and Tennessee. The GOP has the President to thank for this. Trump crisscrossed the country campaigning for Republican Senate candidates, even if it meant losing the House. Keeping the Senate means the GOP can continue confirming the conservative judges that Trump has been nominating.
3. Gubernatorial races
Democrats made some gains in governors’ mansions, but what they’ll remember most about 2018 are the races that got away. Yes, the Dems gained six seats in governor’s races, including impressive pickups in Kansas and Wisconsin. But the losses by Andrew Gillum in Florida and Richard Cordray in Ohio will surely sting for some time. Democrat Stacey Abrams refused to concede her high-profile race to Republican Brian Kemp in Georgia. He’s ahead in votes with 99% of precincts reporting, but she wants to wait for the absentee ballots to be counted before giving up the fight.
4. Historic firsts
So much history has been made! Let’s start with the record number of women — at least 96 — projected to win seats in the House. The historic total caps off a campaign season in the wake of President Trump’s election that was defined in large part by female activism. But that’s not all:
— Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar will be the first Muslim women in Congress.
— Sharice Davids and Deb Haaland will become the first Native American women elected to Congress.
— Marsha Blackburn will be the first female senator to represent Tennessee.
— Jared Polis of Colorado will become the nation’s first openly gay man elected governor.
— Kristi Noem will become the first female governor in South Dakota.
— Veronica Escobar and Sylvia Garcia will be the first Hispanic women from Texas elected to Congress.
— Arizona will have its first female senator, but as of this morning, we still don’t know if it will be Republican Martha McSally or Democrat Kyrsten Sinema.
5. Ballot measures
Voters didn’t just choose candidates. They also voted on ballot measures that hit on the hot-button topics of the day.
Abortion: Voters in Alabama and West Virginia OK’d changes to their state constitutions to further restrict abortions.
Election policies: Florida voted to restore voting rights for felons after they complete their sentences.
Crime: Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Nevada, North Carolina and Oklahoma all approved a version of “Marsy’s Law,” which adds specific protections for victims of crime to a state’s constitution.
Marijuana: Michigan voters OK’d letting people over 21 use marijuana.
Minimum wage: Voters in Arkansas and Missouri voted to hike the minimum wage to $11 and $12, respectively.
And before we leave the elections portion of this newsletter, we want to say a huge thank you to all of you who emailed in your “I Voted” sticker pictures. We got almost 2,000 emails! You can see the best of the sticker pics from all 50 states by clicking here.
THIS JUST IN …
Here’s what else is going on in the world beyond the midterms.
Seventy-eight schoolchildren kidnapped by armed men in Cameroon have been released. But their principal and a teacher are still held captive.
A high-level meeting between the US and North Korea set for Friday has been postponed. It’s a setback in talks between the two countries.
Chris Watts, the Colorado man accused of killing his pregnant wife and two daughters, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and other charges.
A jury in New York found Akayed Ullah guilty in the December 2017 attack on an underground walkway in the city’s subway system.
See you in court
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt will be going to trial — set to start December 4 — in the custody fight over their children.
The number of people killed by “superbugs” in Europe every year, a new report says
“This is not the culture we envision for Under Armour.”
Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank and President Patrik Frisk in a letter to employees after a Wall Street Journal report said that for years the company let employees charge strip club visits to their corporate cards. Plank and Frisk promised to fix Under Armour’s culture.
Rubber band man
OK, the elections are (finally!) over. Let’s all wind down and chill out by watching this oddly mesmerizing marble run featuring wooden blocks, dominoes and rubber bands. (Click to view.)