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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

We selected the Axios 8 to include not just high-profile races, but ones that would only be competitive if the blue wave is massive. The winners are listed in bold. Two races haven't been called. Expand this story to see the returns.

  1. Texas Senate: Ted Cruz (R) vs. Beto O'Rourke (D)
  2. Ohio governor: Richard Cordray (D) vs. Mike DeWine (R)
  3. West Virginia's 3rd district: Richard Ojeda (D) vs. Carol Miller (R)
  4. California's 45th district: Mimi Walters (R) vs. Katie Porter (D)
  5. Minnesota's 8th district: Joe Radinovich (D) vs. Pete Stauber (R)
  6. Texas' 23rd district: Will Hurd (R) vs. Gina Ortiz Jones (D)
  7. Florida's 26th district: Carlos Curbelo (R) vs. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D)
  8. Iowa's 3rd district: David Young (R) vs. Cindy Axne (D)
Expand chart

Why it matters: It's the race everyone was watching to see whether Republicans' lock on Texas might be ending. It isn't.

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Why it matters: If Cordray had won, Democrats would have been more likely to win other closely contested Midwest governors' races, too.

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Why it matters: Trump won the district by 30 points, but Ojeda got a lot of national attention in the race for this open seat. It wasn't enough to put him over the top.

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Why it matters: The Democrats' win in this Orange County district — made official more than a week after the election — was another sign that the "blue wave" was stronger than it appeared on election night.

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Why it matters: It had been considered one of the Democrats' most at-risk seats this cycle after incumbent Democratic Rep. Rick Nolan announced his retirement.

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Why it matters: Hurd, the incumbent, distanced himself from Trump and had been considered vulnerable. It took nearly two weeks after election night before Jones conceded.

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Why it matters: It was a test of whether a moderate Republican in the Trump era can hold on to a largely Hispanic district. Curbelo couldn't do it.

Expand chart
Election results via the Associated Press; Graphic: Axios Visuals

Why it matters: Axne's victory foreshadowed another Democratic pickup Tuesday night: the defeat of Republican Rep. Rod Blum in another closely contested race in Iowa's 1st district. He lost to Democrat Abby Finkenauer.

Go deeper: The Axios 8: How to tell the strength of the blue wave

Editor's note: This story has been updated to note that Hurd won the Texas 23rd district race.

Go deeper

In cyber espionage, U.S. is both hunted and hunter

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

American outrage over foreign cyber espionage, like Russia's SolarWinds hack, obscures the uncomfortable reality that the U.S. secretly does just the same thing to other countries.

Why it matters: Secrecy is often necessary in cyber spying to protect sources and methods, preserve strategic edges that may stem from purloined information, and prevent diplomatic incidents.

53 mins ago - Politics & Policy
Scoop

White House plots "full-court press" for $1.9 trillion relief plan

National Economic Council Director Brian Deese speaks during a White House news briefing. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Biden White House is deploying top officials to get a wide ideological spectrum of lawmakers, governors and mayors on board with the president’s $1.9 trillion COVID relief proposal, according to people familiar with the matter.

Why it matters: The broad, choreographed effort shows just how crucially Biden views the stimulus to the nation's recovery and his own political success.

54 mins ago - World

Scoop: Sudan wants to seal Israel normalization deal at White House

Burhan. Photo: Mazen Mahdi/AFP via Getty

Three months after Sudan agreed to normalize relations with Israel, it still hasn't signed an agreement to formally do so. Israeli officials tell me one reason has now emerged: Sudan wants to sign the deal at the White House.

Driving the news: Israel sent Sudan a draft agreement for establishing diplomatic relations several weeks ago, but the Sudanese didn’t reply, the officials say. On Tuesday, Israeli Minister of Intelligence Eli Cohen raised that issue in Khartoum during the first-ever visit of an Israeli minister to Sudan.