☕️ Good Thursday morning.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
President Trump increasingly demands, solicits and gets the loyalty of Republicans, big and small.
Why it matters: Soon this could matter in consequential — and constitutional — ways.
What we're watching ... Jonathan Swan points out the potentially colossal implications of Trump getting rid of Sessions, and replacing him with a loyalist and Mueller critic.
Be smart, from Cliff Sims, Trump's former White House director of message strategy:
Sources with direct knowledge tell Jonathan Swan that since the earliest days of his presidency, Trump has mused about revoking press credentials for reporters who infuriate him.
Be smart: Despite the White House accusing Acosta of "placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern" when she was taking a microphone from him at the presser, the video clearly shows Acosta didn’t do anything physically threatening to the intern.
The reaction from White House reporters made it clear that a new line had been crossed:
The midterms "laid bare the growing chasm between urban and rural America," the N.Y. Times' Jonathan Martin and Alex Burns write in "A Political Realignment Without a Clear Winner":
Why it matters: "Democrats took control of the House not merely by making gains in coastal states that supported Hillary Clinton, but also by penetrating deeply into suburban corners of traditionally conservative states in the South and across the Plains, like Georgia, Texas and Oklahoma."
N.Y. Times Quote of the Day ... Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri, one of three red-state Senate Democrats swept out of office (along with Joe Donnelly of Indiana and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota), when rural counties she relied on 12 years ago largely broke for her Republican rival, Josh Hawley:
The congressional incumbents who lost were mostly a) House Republican incumbents in districts Hillary Clinton won in 2016 and b) red-state Democratic senators in Trump country, Axios' Alexi McCammond writes.
By the numbers: 30 House Republican incumbents lost their seats to a Democrat. Of those, 19 were in Clinton-won districts, while nine were incumbents who Republicans had previously said were in competitive, coin-flip races.
The takeaway: Trump focused most of his time on Republicans running for Senate and governor, leaving many House GOP incumbents out to dry in 2018.
Midterm voting patterns shifted slightly to the left of the 2016 election, Axios senior visual journalist Chris Canipe reports.
How to read this chart: Democrats in the upper left won in districts that Trump carried in 2016; Republicans in the bottom right won in districts carried by Hillary Clinton.
Democrats focused on privacy and conservatives who are suspicious of the platform companies are moving into more prominent positions at a time when Big Tech is a bigger target for concrete regulation than ever before, Axios' David McCabe reports.
In the House, a new era of Democratic leadership has major implications for Silicon Valley and Washington.
In the Senate, a key committee’s leadership is in play and several tech skeptics won seats for the first time.
P.S. "Silicon Valley startups are continuing to negotiate deals with Saudi Arabia and take its capital through its partner SoftBank, ... amid the controversy over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi that has clouded the kingdom’s role as a global technology investor," The Wall Street Journal's Eliot Brown reports.
"Tesla Inc. chose Robyn Denholm [a director since 2014] to succeed Elon Musk as board chair, selecting an independent director to contend with the carmaker’s mercurial chief executive officer following his run-ins with regulators and investors," per Bloomberg.
P.S. "Google is gearing up for an expansion of its New York City real estate that could add space for more than 12,000 new workers, an amount nearly double the search giant’s current staffing in the city," The Wall Street Journal reports.
"What if the Placebo Effect Isn’t a Trick? New research is zeroing in on a biochemical basis for the placebo effect — possibly opening a Pandora’s box for Western medicine," reports the N.Y. Times' Gary Greenberg.
"The Washington Nationals offered Bryce Harper the biggest free agent contract in the history of the four major North American sports in late September, and he and his agent turned it down," the WashPost's Chelsea Janes reports: