10 Things in Politics: GOP shocks Dems in Virginia

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Here's what we're talking about:


Glenn Youngkin celebrates on election night

1. ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL: Republicans are ready for the midterms. Glenn Youngkin's projected victory in the Virginia governor's race is the main data point, but it's far from the only one on a night that has buoyed the spirits of a party that just nine months ago found itself locked out of power in Washington. In a sign of just how good things are for Republicans, the New Jersey governor's race remains too close to call.

Here are the key takeaways from a big "off-year" election night:

Republicans stormed back to power in Virginia: Youngkin, a first-time candidate, is projected to have ended a GOP gubernatorial losing streak in the state dating back to 2009. But that was just the beginning. Decision Desk HQ projects that Republicans will sweep statewide offices, with Winsome Sears, a former state delegate, winning the lieutenant governor's race and Jason Miyares ousting the two-term Attorney General Mark Herring.

  • The GOP sweep made history: Sears is the first Black woman elected to statewide office in Virginia. Miyares is set to be the commonwealth's first Latino attorney general.

More on the results:

Insider

Youngkin was able to thread the Trump needle: "Youngkin was able to appeal to Trump's base by voicing support for the former president and calling for election integrity. But Youngkin also drew moderate and independent voters by talking about the economy and parental involvement in schools," The Washington Post reports.

  • Still, Donald Trump quickly swooped in to claim credit: "​​I would like to thank my BASE for coming out in force and voting for Glenn Youngkin. Without you, he would not have been close to winning," Trump said in a statement. Youngkin avoided directly criticizing the president, but he also did not campaign with him.

Other major results:

Democrats are anxiously awaiting results in New Jersey: Gov. Phil Murphy was expected to easily win in a state that Joe Biden carried by roughly 16 points. But the state has also not reelected a Democratic governor in more than 40 years.

  • How you know it's bad for Democrats: The New Jersey Senate president, Steve Sweeney, the longest-serving legislative leader in state history, is in a close contest against an essentially no-name Republican opponent, per multiple reports.

Here's where things stood earlier this morning:

Insider

History made in Boston: Michelle Wu was elected Boston's first female and nonwhite mayor, a major moment in a city whose politics have long been dominated by white men.

Eric Adams to lead New York: Adams, as expected, easily dispatched the Republican Curtis Sliwa in the New York City mayoral election. Sliwa spent part of Election Day trying to get his cat into the polling place with him.

The last word from The Cook Political Report's Dave Wasserman:

Dave Wasserman


2. CDC OKs vaccine for kids: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has given the green light to recommend the lower-dose Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for kids ages 5 to 11, making nearly all school-age children eligible to get vaccinated in the US. Pediatricians could begin administering shots as soon as today. Doctors and nurses advising the CDC stressed that parents shouldn't wait to vaccinate their kids.


3. Minneapolis voters defeat proposal to replace city's police department: Voters opposed the proposal by a 12-percentage-point margin, the Star Tribune reports. Advocates and some liberal city councilors had pushed for a dramatic overhaul of Minneapolis' police department after the murder of George Floyd. Instead, voters appear poised to reelect Mayor Jacob Frey, one of the proposal's most outspoken opponents. More on the closely watched ballot question in Minnesota.


Kyrsten Sinema

4. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema announces support for drug-pricing deal: Lower costs on prescription drugs are back in Democrats' social-spending framework — and the key centrist Sen. Kyrsten Sinema has thrown her support behind it. Speaker Nancy Pelosi, per NBC, said the deal would establish a $2,000 out-of-pocket limit for seniors' expenses in Medicare Part D, reduce out-of-pocket co-pays, and lower some drug prices. Sinema's support of the deal is most likely a good sign of where she stands as Biden tries to push his agenda across the finish line.


5. Biden calls out Russian and Chinese leaders for skipping climate summit: Biden criticized Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin for skipping the UN climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland, as well as the recent G20 summit in Rome, questioning their commitment to addressing the climate crisis as other world leaders have sought consensus. "The single most important thing that's caught the attention of the world is climate," Biden told reporters. More on Biden's remarks targeting two of the world's biggest polluters.


6. Zillow is shutting down its homebuying business and laying off 25% of its employees: Zillow paused Zillow Offers last month after the company said it had a backlog of homes that required renovations. But an Insider analysis revealed other issues with the company's iBuying strategy. Of the hundreds of homes Zillow recently listed for sale in its five biggest markets, 64% were being marketed for less than the company paid for them. More on Zillow's problems.


Judge Judy in the center with two other photos of Judge Judy facing out to the left and right behind her. the background is a red to dark red gradient.

7. "Judge Judy" plagued by abuse, racism, insiders say: An Insider investigation involving interviews with 16 former "Judge Judy" employees, as well as a review of thousands of pages of court records, found that Judith Sheindlin's long-standing executive producer and director Randy Douthit had repeatedly been accused of sexually harassing employees, making inappropriate sexual comments to female staff members, offering preferential treatment to staffers he found attractive, and ordering junior producers to bring fewer Black litigants on the show. In a statement, Sheindlin, who has a new show out, defended her stewardship of "Judge Judy" but did not address the accusations against Douthit. Read more from Insider's investigation into one of TV's biggest icons.


8. Kyle Rittenhouse's trial opens: "Jurors heard starkly different portrayals of Kyle Rittenhouse — instigator or victim — in opening statements at his trial on charges of shooting three people on the streets of Kenosha during a turbulent protest against racial injustice," the Associated Press reports. More on the trial.


9. Hundreds of QAnon supporters gather in Dallas to witness "the return of JFK and JFK Jr.": Many believed they would witness the return of the assassinated president and his son who died in a plane crash in 1999, The Daily Beast reports. They were disappointed to see their prediction didn't come true. But rather than grappling with why the reappearances didn't happen, many just pivoted to a new prediction.


10. Braves win the World Series: The Atlanta Braves blasted the Houston Astros, 7-0, in Game 6 and clinched the championship with a 4-2 series win. This is the Braves' first World Series title since 1995.


Today's trivia question: How many US presidents were born in Virginia? Email your answer and a suggested question to me at bgriffiths@insider.com.

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