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Of the 18 midterms since 1950, there have been just five split decisions, where the House shifted towards one party and the Senate towards the other. And 2018's was the most split of them all.

Why it matters: Now that all of the races have been settled — with the exception of the California 21st district race — we can see how much of an outlier the 2018 midterms were. The split is also a sign of how Democrats dominated the suburban House districts while Republicans won the rural Senate states.

Expand chart
Data: The American Presidency Project, AP; Chart: Harry Stevens/Axios
Expand chart
Data: The American Presidency Project, AP; Chart: Harry Stevens/Axios

Between the lines: In modern midterm elections, the trend has been for seats in both the House and Senate to shift in one direction, usually against the president's party.

The strength of this year's blue wave depends upon how you measure it:

  • If you measure it by Democratic seats gained in the House, or since Watergate, or by the margin of victory in the popular vote, it was the strongest Democratic wave since the 1974 midterm election.
  • If you measure it by total seats gained by any party, the Republicans did better under Bill Clinton in 1994 and Barack Obama in 2010.
  • And if you measure it by end results, 2006 was better for the Democrats — the year they won both the House and Senate under George W. Bush.

The bottom line: The split decision was no surprise, since the Senate map was historically bad for Democrats. That's why Republicans were able to survive and even improve their numbers a bit in the Senate. But it doesn't mean the wave wasn't there.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
Updated 3 mins ago - Economy & Business

Johnson & Johnson pulls the trigger on Texas talc gambit

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

It's official: Johnson & Johnson has invoked a Texas legal loophole in an attempt to protect the bulk of its corporate assets from claims that its baby powder caused ovarian cancer and mesothelioma.

Why it matters: It's the biggest and boldest invocation yet of the so-called Texas two-step defense. But it's still not clear whether it's going to work.

Poll: U.S. leadership approval rebounds from Trump low

A Gallup report published Tuesday found approval of United States leadership in 46 countries and territories hit 49% — up from 30% at the end of Donald Trump's presidency, and matching former President Obama's first year (2009).

Why it matters: Biden's efforts to reengage with the international community following the Trump administration appear to be improving the global approval ratings for U.S. leadership, though this poll does not take into account the withdrawal from Afghanistan in August.

"No-code" miracle for startups

Expand chart
Data: Interactive Advertising Bureau; Table: Axios Visuals

The U.S. has reached a tipping point in its shift from the industrial economy — one that relied on the buildout of hardware — to an information economy that relies on the transfer, storage and implementation of data, according to a new report.

Why it matters: This shift towards a data and information-based economy has allowed more businesses to establish themselves and scale quickly and at a very low cost. As such, the number of jobs created by the commercial internet has more than tripled since 2012.