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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

Biden administration to lift travel ban for fully vaccinated international travelers

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients announced on Monday that the Biden administration will allow fully vaccinated travelers from around the world to enter the U.S. beginning in November.

Why it matters: The move marks the end of the ban on most European visitors put in place under former President Trump in March 2020.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
24 mins ago - Economy & Business

Gen Z breaks into VC

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

When Meagan Loyst joined VC firm Lerer Hippeau, less than two years out of Boston College, she was still living with her parents. She had virtually no online brand presence, and the pandemic made it impossible to build a professional network via in-person meetings.

Why it matters: Loyst wasn't alone. Venture firms have accelerated hiring in line with record deal activity, often seeking younger investors who can spot trends that fly below the radar (or intrinsic understanding) of older partners.

White House aims to protect workers from extreme heat

Two pear pickers in Hood River, Oregon on August 13, 2021. (Michael Hanson/AFP via Getty Images)

The White House announced a slew of actions Monday, including the start of a rule-making process at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), to protect American workers from extreme heat.

Driving the news: The U.S. just had its hottest summer on record, with triple-digit-temperatures killing hundreds in the Pacific Northwest and exposing outdoor workers to dangerous conditions.