Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Nashville news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Nashville newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Columbus news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Columbus newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Dallas news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Dallas newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Troy Balderson gives his victory speech last night in Ohio. Photo: Justin Merriman/Getty Images

This year's last special election left Democrats energized and Republicans worried.

The big picture: A U.S. House race in Ohio that should have been a layup for Republicans instead wound up too close to call with 100% of the vote in, although Republican Troy Balderson and President Trump declared victory.

  • The AP advisory at 11:25 p.m.: "Republican Troy Balderson has a slight lead over Democrat Danny O'Connor in the special election in [Ohio's] 12th Congressional District. But there are at least 3,367 provisional ballots left to be reviewed. That's enough for O'Connor to potentially pick up enough votes to force a mandatory recount."
  • CNN's John King points out that such leads typically stand. But the race is deadlocked for now with a 1,754-vote margin for the GOP.

Why it matters ... Regardless of which way the race tips (in a district that Trump won by 11 points in 2016, and Mitt Romney carried by 10 in 2012), we have learned four things heading into the epic November midterms:

  1. In elections since 2016, Republicans have massively underperformed their Trump-Clinton margins, one of the surest signs of trouble when House control is at stake 90 days from now. MSNBC's Steve Kornacki, after a long night at his "Big Board," told me: "OH-12 was Trump +11 and right now it’s GOP +0.9 in the special. ... PA-18 [went] from Trump +20 to a Dem win" by Conor Lamb.
  2. FiveThirtyEight says this year's "federal special elections have shifted leftward from their partisan leans by an average of 16 percentage points."
  3. There's a sharp Trump-era shift from the GOP in suburbs, which were a crucial part of the president's 2016 victory. Political analyst Bill Schneider said on CNN that while Trump has a historic hold on his own voters, Republicans are bleeding affluent, educated, suburban voters who don't like him: "It's changing the profile of the Republican Party quite dramatically."
  4. Every race is a Trump race. And both sides think that works for them. The president, claiming he saved Balderson's bacon, will be even more insistent about engaging in key races. Axios' Alexi McCammond points out that the Ohio race was really Trump v. Pelosi: The president rallied with Balderson on Saturday; GOP ads tied O’Connor to Dems' Speaker-in-waiting.

Be smart: Both parties will obsess about luring their own people to the polls, with little incentive or bandwidth for outreach to the middle (less likely to vote in midterms than in presidential elections) or the other side (everyone dug in).

  • That means an ugly, loud spectacle befitting our times.

Get more stories like this by signing up for our daily morning newsletter, Axios AM. 

Not a valid email format.
Not a valid email format.
Server error. Please try a different email.
Not a valid email format.
Not a valid email format.
Server error. Please try a different email.
Not a valid email format.
Not a valid email format.
Server error. Please try a different email.
Not a valid email format.
Not a valid email format.
Server error. Please try a different email.
Not a valid email format.
Not a valid email format.
Server error. Please try a different email.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - World

Up to 17 U.S. missionaries kidnapped in Haiti

Haitian soldiers guard the public prosecutor's office in Port-au-Prince this month. Photo: Richard Pierrin/AFP via Getty Images

Children were among up to 17 American Christian missionaries and their relatives kidnapped by a gang in Haiti on Saturday, the New York Times first reported.

The latest: Haitian police inspector Frantz Champagne identified the 400 Mawozo gang as the group responsible, in a statement to AP.

Hollywood union reaches deal with studios to avert strike

Photo: AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

A Hollywood workers' union reached a tentative deal with studios, networks and streamers that will guarantee better working conditions, meal breaks and increased wages for low-paid workers, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) announced Saturday night.

Why it matters: The deal, which still needs to be ratified by IATSE members, will avert a nationwide strike by film and television workers that was set to start Monday. It would have been the first strike in the union's 128-year history.

Bill Clinton released from hospital following treatment for non-COVID infection

Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Former President Bill Clinton was discharged from the University of California, Irvine Medical Center on Sunday, nearly a week after he was admitted for a non-COVID-related infection, according to his spokesperson Angel Ureña.

What they're saying: "His fever and white blood cell count are normalized and he will return home to New York to finish his course of antibiotics," wrote Dr. Alpesh Amin, who has been overseeing the team of doctors treating Clinton. "On behalf of everyone at UC Irvine Medical Center, we were honored to have treated him and will continue to monitor his progress."

Worth noting: Clinton had a urinary tract infection that spread to his bloodstream, per CNN.

  • The California-based medical team had been administering IV antibiotics and fluids, and was in constant communication with Clinton's New York team, including his cardiologist, according to the former president's physicians.
  • President Biden spoke by phone with Clinton on Friday to see how he was doing, and the catch-up included a discussion of recent politics.