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Election results: Congress is divided; Wolf, Casey, Menendez keep seats | Morning Newsletter

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Democrat Madeleine Dean celebrates after winning Pennsylvania's Fourth Congressional District race at the Operating Engineers Headquarters in Fort Washington on Nov. 6, 2018.
Democrat Madeleine Dean celebrates after winning Pennsylvania's Fourth Congressional District race at the Operating Engineers Headquarters in Fort Washington on Nov. 6, 2018.Read moreCHARLES FOX / Staff Photographer

    The Morning Newsletter

    Start your day with the Philly news you need and the stories you want all in one easy-to-read newsletter

A little groggy this a.m.? Whether you spent all night watching the results come in or decided to sleep it off, we have a recap of yesterday's elections for you this morning. The short version: Congress is split. Democrats gained control of the U.S. House (with some help from Philly) while the GOP keeps control of the Senate. And our region reelected a lot of familiar faces. But, of course, there's much more to it. This morning marks my one-year anniversary of writing this newsletter, and I'm happy to be here with you on an important day like today.

A reminder: we're keeping all of our coverage of the midterm elections unrestricted and available to everyone today. But public service journalism like this requires a lot of time, effort and money. We appreciate your support of our work.

Reading this online? Sign up here to get this newsletter delivered to your inbox every morning.

— Aubrey Nagle (@aubsn,

» READ MORE: Divided results: Democrats gain control of U.S. House — but GOP expands Senate majority

It may not have been the "blue wave" that Democrats were hoping for, but they did make significant gains nationwide, enough to take back control of the U.S. House. Meanwhile, Republicans have retained control of the Senate and extended their majority.

The House results deliver a sharp rebuke to Trump and the GOP while the Senate shows Republicans running strong in conservative, rural states, reporter Jonathan Tamari writes. So, what does that mean exactly?

A House controlled by Democrats could severely constrain the president's ability to advance major legislation. But, Republicans' expansion in the Senate will enable them to bottle up Democratic bills and continue confirming federal judges.

» READ MORE: Tom Wolf wins Pa. governor’s race

Regionally, you'll see a lot of familiar names this morning: Pennsylvania voters once again chose Democrat Tom Wolf for governor and Democrat Bob Casey for the Senate, while New Jersey re-elected Democrat Bob Menendez to the Senate in a tight race.

In a closely watched contest, Republican Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick held on in Bucks County's First District, surviving an election many predicted would be devastating to suburban Republicans. Pennsylvania Democrats Rep. Brendan Boyle and Rep. Dwight Evans were reelected as well.

The race in New Jersey's Third District between U.S. Rep. Tom MacArthur and Democrat Andy Kim is still too close to call this morning.

» READ MORE: Philly region’s flipped seats were key to Democratic takeover of U.S. House

In our region, Democrats picked up a handful of seats in the U.S. House including Madeleine Dean in Pennsylvania's Fourth District, Mary Gay Scanlon in the Fifth, Chrissy Houlahan in the Sixth, and Susan Wild in the Seventh, plus Jeff Van Drew in New Jersey's Second District.

In another kind of flip, those four Pennsylvania Democrats heading to the House for the first time are women, breaking up the state's all-male delegation.

Despite Democratic wins in the U.S. House and Senate, Pennsylvania's General Assembly looks like it will remain in Republican control.

Ballot questions, answered

Philadelphia voters approved a $181 million city bond. New Jersey also approved its ballot question, voting to issue $500 million in bonds, primarily for expanding vo-tech programs and school security.

Across the country: Florida voters elected to restore voting rights to more than 1 million ex-felons, Massachusetts voted to protect transgender rights, and Michigan became the first Midwest state to legalize recreational marijuana.

Looking to make sense of the midterms? Join the Philadelphia Inquirer and WHYY Wednesday, Nov. 14 to discuss what we learned and what it means with some of our region's best political experts. Get your free tickets at

What you need to know today

  1. Philadelphia's Department of Human Services was back in court Tuesday. It was defending its refusal to contract with a Catholic foster-care agency that won't work with LGBTQ parents in federal appeals court.

  2. Declines in student populations are threatening many Northeastern colleges — but not Delaware State. The historically black school is actually breaking enrollment records.

  3. Congratulations are in order for Margaret Egan of Saints Peter and Paul Catholic School in West Chester. She was just named the winner of a U.S. Department of Education award given to just 11 principals in the country this year.

  4. Boys with Autism Spectrum Disorder are estimated to outnumber girls by 4-1, but experts now say that may be because many girls' symptoms are dismissed or misread.

  5. On Tuesday, a judge declared a mistrial in the case of Maurice Green, a man accused of fatally shooting a beloved 81-year-old South Philadelphia matriarch in her corner store in 2016. Green acted as his own lawyer for parts of the trial.

  6. Earlier this week, the Inquirer and the Boston Globe found that more than 130 U.S. bishops have been accused of failing to adequately respond to sexual misconduct in their dioceses. Boston's Cardinal Sean O'Malley says he's shocked by the number.

Through Your Eyes | #OurPhilly

That is a very specific pun, @kylehuff, and I appreciate it.

Tag your Instagram posts or tweets with #OurPhilly and we'll pick our favorite each day to feature in this newsletter and give you a shout out!

That’s Interesting

  1. Rockers like Jason Isbell and Zac Brown Band guitarist Clay Cook need someone to make special cabinets for their guitars. It might as well be Doylestown cabinet maker to the stars Darrell Jennings.

  2. The Sixers are dealing with another Twitter dust-up. Markelle Fultz's trainer tweeted (then deleted) that Fultz still wasn't healthy. Fultz and coach Brett Brown disagree.

  3. The First Person Arts Festival is in full swing through next week. Actor Keith David of Greenleaf is headed to the Philly festival for a special performance that connects a Zora Neale Hurston work to the modern black experience.

  4. Here's a hot take for you: columnist Elizabeth Wellington says People magazine finally got it right: Idris Elba was the obvious choice for "Sexiest Man Alive."

  5. Retired fashion illustrator and artist Alden Cole has turned his plain old South Philly home into a surrealist imaginarium. You kind of have to see it to believe it.

  6. Don't put all your hopes for another Super Bowl win all on new Eagles wide receiver Golden Tate. If history is any indication, expectations should be minimal at best.


"I have just entered one of the few remaining truly quiet public places on earth. It's a silence so deep and powerful it almost has fragrance. Metaphors spring forth. An eel swimming in oil. Dew falling on a rose. An Iroquois canoe gliding downstream." — Writer Willian Ecenbarger on the beauty of the Amtrak quiet car.
  1. President Trump has spent the last few weeks riling up his base with fear tactics — and on Tuesday night it seemed to have worked, writes columnist Will Bunch.

  2. In response to last weekend's Inquirer and Boston Globe report on America's Catholic Church leaders covering up child sexual abuse, the Inquirer Editorial Board writes that the church should turn over its secret archives to prosecutors.

What we’re reading

  1. Still buzzing from Election Day? The New York Times created a page all about calming down — soothing gifs and puppies included— just for you.

  2. You only have 24 hours in a day, but maybe with time management tips from some of Philly's sports coaches, compiled by Philadelphia Magazine, it might feel a bit longer.

  3. The Temple News' story on sororities collaborating with the goal of ending sexual assault on campus is a smart read.

  4. Dig into an important bit of Philly history with PlanPhilly's report on the new Hunting Park mural dedicated to late graffiti legend Karaz, complete with looks at Karaz's work.

  5. Looking for a long read? Escape into The Guardian's look at the booming business of background music and how it influences our behaviors.

Your Daily Dose of | Beauty

Sure, sometimes New Jersey's haunting Pine Barrens can be a bit … creepy. But a photo contest has shown a side to the landscape you've never seen before. (A really pretty side.)