NC DEMOCRATS BREAK SUPERMAJORITIES IN BOTH HOUSES OF GENERAL ASSEMBLY: North Carolina Democrats broke the Republican super-majority in both the state House and state Senate Tuesday night, though some of the races are tight enough to trigger recounts. Going into Tuesday, the GOP held the House 75-45. It looks like it will be 66-54 when a new legislature is seated in January, although a close race in Mecklenburg County could shift one seat. Republicans hold the Senate now 35-15. If unofficial results – with some very thin margins – hold, it will soon be 29-21. Democrats picked up just enough seats to break the Republican super-majority. Sen. Jeff Tarte, R-Mecklenburg, fell by more than 11,000 votes to Natasha Marcus. Sen. Trudy Wade, R-Guilford, also lost a close race, by 763 votes to Michael Garrett.
ANITA EARLS' VICTORY GIVES DEMS 5-2 MAJORITY ON NC SUPREME COURT: The race for Supreme Court was the most high-profile statewide race this year, except for possibly the six constitutional amendments on the ballot. The court currently has a 4-3 Democratic majority, and Earls will shift it to a 5-2 Democratic majority. Earls, 58, founded the Southern Coalition for Social Justice and is best known for her work filing voting rights lawsuits and waging legal battles against gerrymandering and voter ID. Voters across the state were also asked to pick three judges for the N.C. Court of Appeals. With 99 percent of precincts reporting as of 11:30 p.m., Arrowood had a narrow lead of about 1 percent. At 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, Hampson had a double-digit lead over Griffin, who was in second place. The race for Elmore’s seat was a three-way contest between Republican Chuck Kitchen, Democrat Allegra Katherin Collins and Libertarian Michael Monaco. At 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, Collins had a narrow lead of about 1 percent over Kitchen.
DEMOCRATS SEIZE CONTROL OF US HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES; TRUMP IS ON THE MENU: A divided Congress will likely stop nearly all of Trump’s agenda in its tracks, aside for his conservative remaking of the U.S. judiciary. In her victory speech in Washington, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said the newly elected lower chamber would be “about restoring the Constitution’s checks and balances on the Trump administration.” That also means that numerous House committees will have the power to subpoena documents and force administration officials to testify about a slew of issues, including his executive orders on numerous controversial policies, on his businesses and on the allegations that his campaign worked with Russians to undermine the 2016 election. White House officials worry that he is not prepared, nor does he have the legal firepower, to fight what’s coming.
NC GOP'S POWER GRAB AMENDMENTS REJECTED, FOUR OTHERS PASS: Voters overwhelmingly rejected an amendment on who appoints members of the state elections board by a 61 to 39 percent margin. The State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement has been a battleground in the power struggle between Republican lawmakers and Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper since before Cooper took office. State courts have three times thrown out changes lawmakers made to the board, including who appoints members and who can be chairman. Likewise, an amendment about filling judicial vacancies failed by a 67 to 33 percent margin. The courts also have been a point of contention between Cooper and lawmakers, who have in recent years made judicial elections partisan, trimmed the size of the state Court of Appeals and canceled this year's judicial primaries while they tried to overhaul voting districts for trial court judges.
GEORGIA GUBERNATORIAL RACE MAY END UP IN A RUNOFF: Democrat Stacey Abrams says votes remain to be counted in the tight Georgia governor's race and vows to wait for them all. Abrams told supporters at her election night party that they would "have a chance to do a do-over" in her race against Republican Brian Kemp, implying a runoff. Kemp has a narrow lead in the vote count, but it was still possible the race could go to a runoff. In Georgia, a race goes to an automatic runoff if neither candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote. Early returns showed Kemp running up large margins across rural and small-town Georgia, but parts of metro Atlanta, where Abrams' strength is concentrated, had yet to report. Some of those Atlanta-area counties had extended voting hours for some precincts to accommodate the crowds and compensate for problems.