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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.

Expand chart

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

Expand chart

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.

Expand chart

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.

Expand chart

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.

Expand chart

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.

Expand chart

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

Updated 5 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Bomb cyclone prompts blizzard warnings from Virginia to Maine

Computer model projection showing the intense storm off of Cape Cod on Jan 29, 2022, with heavy snow and strong winds lashing the coastline. (Weatherbell.com)

Blizzard warnings are in effect for 11 million people from coastal Virginia to eastern Maine as a historic winter storm is set to slam the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast beginning Friday.

Why it matters: The storm will bring hazards ranging from zero visibility amid hurricane force wind gusts and heavy snow, to coastal flooding that will erode vulnerable beaches and threaten property from the Jersey shore to coastal Massachusetts.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Contact tracing fizzles across America — New clues emerge on long COVID — Omicron is finally burning out — It's very difficult to get access to antiviral COVID treatments — Axios-Ipsos poll: Omicron's big numbersAnother wave of death — FDA limits use of Regeneron and Lilly antibody treatments.
  2. Vaccines: Pfizer begins clinical trial for Omicron-specific vaccine — The shifting definition of fully vaccinated.
  3. Politics: Virginia AG says public colleges can't mandate COVID vaccines —Alaska governor joins Texas lawsuit over National Guard vaccine mandate — Navy discharges 45 sailors for refusing vaccine — Spotify to remove Neil Young's music after his Joe Rogan ultimatum — White House: 60M households have ordered free COVID-19 rapid tests.
  4. World: U.K. to lift travel testing requirement for fully vaccinated — Beijing Olympic Committee lowers testing threshold ahead of Games.
  5. Variant tracker
9 hours ago - World

Biden will move U.S. troops to Eastern Europe "in the near term"

President Biden boards Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews on Jan. 28. Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said on Friday he plans to move U.S. troops to Eastern European and NATO countries “in the near term.”

Driving the news: “Not too many” U.S. troops, Biden added in remarks to reporters at Joint Base Andrew upon returning from a trip to Pennsylvania.