Trump now faces a divided Congress — Suddenly facing life under divided government, President Donald Trump and congressional leaders talked bipartisanship Wednesday but then bluntly previewed the fault lines to come. Trump threatened to go after House Democrats who try to investigate him, while Rep. Nancy Pelosi said her party would be “a check and balance” against the White House. The day after midterm elections reset Washington, Trump took a victory lap at a raucous news conference, celebrating Republican Senate wins but distancing himself from the GOP’s loss of the House. He said he was interested in working with House Democrats but was ready to respond if he felt he was being ill-treated. As long as Republicans have controlled both houses of Congress, Democrats have been hampered in pursuing any significant probes of Trump and his administration, and he made it clear he expects the Senate to follow that course. On Capitol Hill, Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell said Democrats must decide how much “harassment” they want to pursue against Trump, while suggesting there could be limited opportunities to work across the aisle. And Pelosi, who is expected to run for a second stint as speaker when Democrats take the House majority in January, said the party has “a responsibility to seek common ground where we can.” But she added, “Where we cannot, we must stand our ground.”
Midterms offer clues for ‘20 presidential bid — This week’s midterm elections offered revealing lessons for both parties as battle lines begin to emerge for the 2020 presidential election. For Democrats, a string of statewide victories in Rust Belt states opened a potential path back to the White House. Perhaps no state offered Democrats more hope than Wisconsin, which shocked the party in 2016 by narrowly falling into Trump’s column. Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s narrow loss in his bid for a third term left Democrats optimistic they could reclaim Wisconsin along with other traditionally blue states that Trump carried, such as Michigan and Pennsylvania. “To have Walker lose is a significant turning point that the right candidate in 2020 could win all of these states” across the industrial north, Democratic pollster Paul Maslin, who advised Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin’s campaign. “If they do, Trump’s map starts to get more difficult.” Still, there are plenty of reasons for caution for Democrats. Gains in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania were offset by mixed results in Ohio and GOP dominance in electoral powerhouse Florida.
Kemp declares victory in Georgia’s governor race — Republican Brian Kemp’s campaign declared victory Wednesday in the Georgia governor’s race, though Democrat Stacey Abrams insists that enough ballots remain to leave open the possibility of a runoff in a race that Kemp oversees as secretary of state. The Associated Press has not called the contest. Ryan Mahoney, a top Kemp campaign adviser, told reporters in a conference call that the numbers show Abrams can’t win and a runoff won’t happen — but stopped short of declaring victory until pressed by an Associated Press reporter. Only then did Mahoney say Kemp is certain of victory and preparing to take office in January. “We are declaring victory,” Mahoney said. Kemp was not on the call but is expected to speak publicly on Thursday, the same day that a federal judge in Atlanta holds the first hearing on an Election Day lawsuit that seeks to have Kemp barred from having any further role in managing the election.
Migrants hope to try again — The Metropolitan Grand Central bus terminal in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, where the migrant caravan traveling through Mexico originated more than three weeks ago, is a place of crossing destinies for Hondurans dreaming of seeking a better life in the United States. Some of the dozens of people sleeping on the concrete floor or outside on the grass are awaiting buses to the Guatemalan border to begin the journey north. Others are arriving after failing to complete the trip and are being ferried back to the precarious lives they left behind. Hundreds of the mostly Honduran migrants who set out with the caravan that has traversed hundreds of miles through three countries before arriving in Mexico City this week have returned home, according to the Mexican government. Some grew disillusioned. Others simply wore out. Still others were detained and returned, or gave up on waiting for possible asylum in Mexico and accepted bus rides back home. Disembarking at the bus station in San Pedro Sula, nearly all of those returning said the same thing: Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but they intend to try again.