It’s safe to say Republicans had a big day.

In Pennsylvania, the GOP was on the verge of sweeping statewide judicial elections. The map was all red from Bucks County to Erie in local races. Even in deep-blue New Jersey, Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy only won reelection by a razor-thin margin.

So what’s it all mean heading into next year’s midterm elections? That’s the topic of today’s top story, which takes a look at what happens next.

What do you think of the turning political tides? Let me know at morningnewsletter@inquirer.com.

— Kerith Gabriel (@sprtswtr, morningnewsletter@inquirer.com)

The resounding red wave of Election Day

Republicans won at least three of four statewide judgeships, including the marquee race for state Supreme Court. And the races weren’t all that close, with Republican Kevin Brobson holding a four-point lead over Democrat Maria McLaughlin in the Supreme Court race.

Joe Biden won the state just one year ago. The difference this time? A surge of Republican turnout. From school board elections to gubernatorial races, GOP voters went to the polls en masse.

Our reporters Andrew Seidman, Julia Terruso, and Jonathan Tamari look at how the GOP is reenergized ahead of next year’s midterm elections.

The money behind the millions spent on child welfare

Child welfare in Philly has historically been a confusing mix of money going to private agencies entrusted to care for the city’s youth. But some of these agencies are paying out massive settlements after reports of abuse, inadequate care, or negligence — to the tune of millions.

  • $10 million: The amount Turning Points for Children, the city’s largest child welfare provider, and Carson Valley Children’s Aid, a suburban residential facility, settled for just last month after they released sisters back into the care of their abusive father.

  • $50 million: The amount Turning Points receives annually from the city’s Department of Human Services.

  • $6.3 million: The amount the city pays in insurance premiums for approved providers.

Our reporters Max Marin and William Bender look at the true cost of caring for the kids caught up in Philly’s child welfare system.

What you should know today

Through your eyes | #OurPhilly

Some people pride themselves on “working like a dog.” Just a reminder that if @stormy_potato_dog can take time to stop and smell the flowers, so can you. Have a Philly pic worth sharing? Use the hashtag #OurPhilly.

That’s interesting

📚 A Rowan professor is teaching a Black Lives Matter course in an effort to discuss institutional racism.

🏈 Temple football says there’s no quarterback controversy, but the program is currently playing two quarterbacks.

🤥 Some health-care providers have been billing acupuncture treatments as surgeries to the tune of millions. Federal prosecutors are investigating these instances as fraud.

Opinions

“I see society, on the brink of disaster, engaged in a massive and inspirational brainstorming exercise. … We may not necessarily have more knowledge nor claim any higher moral authority than previous generations, but we have suddenly become very busy working in disenfranchised neighborhoods and previously insulated boardrooms, using new strategies, to elevate more people,” writes Drexel professor Franco Montalto, who says reimagining urban green space is also a way to promote social justice.

What we’re ...

Photo of the day

Have a great Thursday, Philadelphia. 👍🏽