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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

The midterms produced a divided Congress that's emblematic of a split America, drifting further apart and pointing to poisonous years ahead.

The net result: Two parties with two wildly different bases and philosophies are pulling farther and farther apart — and are certain to double down on divisiveness heading into 2020.

  • The Democratic strategy of targeting women, minorities and the young was vindicated with the new House majority. We saw record liberal turnout in many suburbs.
  • The Republican strategy of targeting men, whites and rural voters was vindicated with the larger Senate majority. We saw record conservative turnout in rural Trump country.

Fox News' Karl Rove, the former George W. Bush architect, said: "Let’s be clear. ... Both parties are broken."

  • A GOP lobbyist emailed:  "Poisonous gridlock. Hemlock?"

Shades of 2016: The blue wave was a lot less ferocious and unanimous than much of the polling, forecasts and commentary had led Americans to expect.

  • It's a reminder that, even after all the post-2016 angst, all the supposed experts still don't fully understand the country.
  • Republican pollster Frank Luntz told me in a phone interview that there’s a "hidden Trump" vote" of 2% or 3% that refuses to respond to pollsters: "They see it as helping the elite control them."
  • Former Obama strategist David Axelrod said on CNN: "I think this is going to prompt a new round of soul-searching about whether and how you can poll accurately ... A lot of these races that were blowouts ... polled as tight."

Be smart: Although President Trump lost the House, he made the midterms about the Senate during his final swing. And the White House feels vindicated by wins in Indiana and — likely — Florida.

  • Look for Trump to act like he won re-election, even though he faces a treacherous two years, with Congress and with his own 2020 re-election map.

Go deeper:

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Go deeper

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Trump to issue at least 100 pardons and commutations before leaving office

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump plans to issue at least 100 pardons and commutations on his final full day in office Tuesday, sources familiar with the matter told Axios.

Why it matters: This is a continuation of the president's controversial December spree that saw full pardons granted to more than two dozen people — including former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort, longtime associate Roger Stone and Charles Kushner, the father of Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

  • The pardons set to be issued before Trump exits the White House will be a mix of criminal justice ones and pardons for people connected to the president, the sources said.
  • CNN first reported this news.

Go deeper: Convicts turn to D.C. fixers for Trump pardons

Schumer's m(aj)ority checklist

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Capitalizing on the Georgia runoffs, achieving a 50-50 Senate and launching an impeachment trial are weighty to-dos for getting Joe Biden's administration up and running on Day One.

What to watch: A blend of ceremonies, hearings and legal timelines will come into play on Tuesday and Wednesday so Chuck Schumer can actually claim the Senate majority and propel the new president's agenda.

The dark new reality in Congress

National Guard troops keep watch at security fencing. Photo: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

This is how bad things are for elected officials and others working in a post-insurrection Congress:

  • Rep. Norma Torres (D-Calif.) said she had a panic attack while grocery shopping back home.
  • Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) said police may also have to be at his constituent meetings.
  • Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) told a podcaster he brought a gun to his office on Capitol Hill on Jan. 6 because he anticipated trouble with the proceedings that day.