Nov 7, 2018

1. Two Americas: amplified, tearing apart

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

The midterms produced a divided Congress that's emblematic of a split America, drifting further apart and pointing to poisonous years ahead.

The net result: Two parties with two wildly different bases and philosophies are pulling farther and farther apart — and are certain to double down on divisiveness heading into 2020.

  • The Democratic strategy of targeting women, minorities and the young was vindicated with the new House majority. We saw record liberal turnout in many suburbs.
  • The Republican strategy of targeting men, whites and rural voters was vindicated with the larger Senate majority. We saw record conservative turnout in rural Trump country.

Fox News' Karl Rove, the former George W. Bush architect, said: "Let’s be clear. ... Both parties are broken."

  • A GOP lobbyist emailed:  "Poisonous gridlock. Hemlock?"

Shades of 2016: The blue wave was a lot less ferocious and unanimous than much of the polling, forecasts and commentary had led Americans to expect.

  • It's a reminder that, even after all the post-2016 angst, all the supposed experts still don't fully understand the country.
  • Republican pollster Frank Luntz told me in a phone interview that there’s a "hidden Trump" vote" of 2% or 3% that refuses to respond to pollsters: "They see it as helping the elite control them."
  • Former Obama strategist David Axelrod said on CNN: "I think this is going to prompt a new round of soul-searching about whether and how you can poll accurately ... A lot of these races that were blowouts ... polled as tight."

Be smart: Although President Trump lost the House, he made the midterms about the Senate during his final swing. And the White House feels vindicated by wins in Indiana and — likely — Florida.

  • Look for Trump to act like he won re-election, even though he faces a treacherous two years, with Congress and with his own 2020 re-election map.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

America's dwindling executions

The Trump administration wants to reboot federal executions, pointing to a 16-year lapse, but Pew Research reports the government has only executed three people since 1963.

The big picture: Nearly all executions in the U.S. are done by states. Even those have been steadily dropping for two decades, per the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) — marking a downward trend for all executions in the country.

Top NSC official may be moved after "Anonymous" rumor fallout

President Trump at the Daytona 500. (Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Top Trump administration officials are in discussions to reassign deputy national security adviser Victoria Coates to the Department of Energy from the National Security Council, per two sources familiar with the planning.

Why it matters: Coates' working relationship with National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien, who elevated her to the deputy role only months ago, has strained amid an effort by some people inside the administration to tag her as "Anonymous" — a charge she has vehemently denied to colleagues.

Jeff Bezos commits $10 billion for climate change research

Bezos at Amazon Smbhav in New Delhi on Jan. 15. Photo: Sajjad Hussain/AFP via Getty Images

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced the launch of his "Earth Fund" on Monday via Instagram to fund climate change research and awareness.

What he's saying: Bezos says he's initially committing $10 billion to fund "scientists, activists, and NGOS" that are working on environmental preservation and protection efforts.