Election Night in the US

By Brian Ries, Veronica Rocha, Meg Wagner, Sophie Tatum, Maegan Vazquez and Jessie Yeung, CNN
1:29 PM ET, Wed November 7, 2018
6:46 p.m. ET, November 6, 2018

Voters want more women and racial minorities elected to public office

From CNN's Grace Sparks

Almost 80% of voters said that it's very or somewhat important that more women be elected to public office and almost half said it's very important.

Slightly more women than men placed a priority on electing more women to public office, but not by much.

Slightly fewer but around seven-in-ten said that it's very or somewhat important for racial and ethnic minorities to be elected to public office. Around two-thirds of white voters said it's important to elect more minorities while around 80% of African Americans agreed.

Watch below: Congress could get its first Native American woman

6:38 p.m. ET, November 6, 2018

Most voters, particularly Democrats, want major changes in health care

From CNN's Tamy Luhby

Roughly four in 10 voters listed health as their top concern, according to preliminary results from CNN's national exit poll -- and this was especially true among Democrats.

More surprising is that roughly seven in 10 voters said they wanted major changes to the nation's health care system, with more Democrats feeling this way than Republicans. Among voters who felt that health care needs minor or no changes, the majority were Republicans.

This is a huge swing from two years ago, when President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans saw their big wins at the polls as a mandate to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The effort ultimately failed, though the Trump administration continues to undermine the landmark health reform law through regulatory changes.

This election, however, revolved around retaining Obamacare's key provisions that protect those with pre-existing conditions. Democratic candidates repeatedly attacked their Republican rivals as jeopardizing the health insurance of millions of Americans who are or have been sick. The popularity of these Obamacare protections forced Republican candidates to promise to uphold these measures.

Many voters weren't convinced. More than half said Democrats would better protect health care for people with pre-existing conditions, while only one-third said Republicans would.

Watch below: Dr. Sanjay Gupta explains the debate over Medicaid

6:35 p.m. ET, November 6, 2018

A border patrol crowd control exercise was canceled today "out of an abundance of caution," spokesperson says

From CNN's Geneva Sands

A "crowd control” exercise was canceled today "out of an abundance of caution and due to inaccurate reporting that caused unneeded confusion in border communities," according to Corry Schiermeyer, spokesperson for US Customs and Border Protection.

"US Customs and Border Protection has been and will continue to prepare for the potential arrival of thousands of people migrating in a caravan heading toward the United States, through the Southwest border. This includes training exercises, deploying additional CBP personnel and partnering with the U.S. military," he said in the statement. The US Border Patrol’s El Paso Sector postponed joint caravan-related exercises on the El Paso border scheduled for today out of an abundance of caution and due to inaccurate reporting that caused unneeded confusion in border communities. We will continue training exercises in the following days, as necessary to ensure border security and the safety of the American people, the traveling public, CBP personnel and the communities in which we serve.”

Some context: The agency came under fire from the American Civil Liberties Union who criticized the timing of the planned exercise. In an interview with the Washington Post, Executive Director of the ACLU Texas, Terri Burke said “the location, next to a totally Hispanic neighborhood, is suspicious.” Burke also stated that Governor Abbott’s administration “have done quite enough to intimidate voters without staging military rehearsals on the day our nation exercises our most important democratic obligation: voting.”

In a tweet from the ACLU on Tuesday, the organization said that “it shouldn’t have taken outrage from US congressmen, and the community for them to recognize that this would cause serious problems on #Election Day.”

6:29 p.m. ET, November 6, 2018

The view from the CNN control room

Things are picking up here at CNN. Here's the view from the control room.

6:24 p.m. ET, November 6, 2018

There was a sunset rainbow in Washington on Election Day

As Washington, D.C. voters left polling places on Tuesday evening, they were treated to the unexpected view of a rainbow set against a scarlet sunset.

"Is this an auspicious sign from the heavens on Election Day?" one voter posted on Instagram.

6:33 p.m. ET, November 6, 2018

The Forecast: Why we're watching Kentucky's 6th district

Analysis from CNN's Harry Enten

The only notable House race where polls have closed is in Kentucky's 6th district, where Democrat Amy McGrath is challenging Republican Rep. Andy Barr. Almost all the polls and prognosticators point to a very close race. Republicans almost certainly need to hold it to maintain a House majority. If Democrats win there, it's a very good early sign for them.

Click here for more from The Forecast.

6:14 p.m. ET, November 6, 2018

Exit polls: Most voters feel good or great about the economy

From CNN's Z. Byron Wolf

President Trump has repeatedly highlighted how good the economy is doing under his watch.

Many voters agreed: More than two-thirds said the economy is excellent or good, though Republicans were much more likely to feel that way, according to preliminary results from CNN’s national exit poll.

Just under a third of voters said the economy is not good or poor, and about 85% of them were Democrats.

The economy, however, was not the key issue for many voters this midterm election. It ranked third, behind health care and immigration but well ahead of gun policy. The economy mattered more to Republicans than Democrats.

Nearly half of voters felt their financial situation is the same as it was two years ago. Just over a third said it was better, while a little less than 15% said it was worse.

Republicans were initially running on the tax cut package they passed at the end of 2017, though that fervor faded as the midterms approached. Voters were more muted about the tax cuts’ effect on their lives. Nearly half said it had no impact, while just under a quarter said it hurt them. Just over a quarter said they were helped by the tax cuts.

6:17 p.m. ET, November 6, 2018

Meghan McCain remembers her dad on Election Day

Meghan McCain, the daughter of late Sen. John McCain, tweeted a photo of her father on Tuesday afternoon.

In the photo, Sen. McCain cradled Meghan, then 15 days old, while at the polls.

"My first Election Day of my life without you - miss you so much today Dad. Thank you for always involving me in our amazing American political process and bringing me everywhere you went," McCain wrote.

Here's the tweet:

Watch below: Why John McCain was a politician unlike any other

6:06 p.m. ET, November 6, 2018

Voters decided a long time ago, exit poll shows

From CNN's Jennifer Agiesta, Tami Luhby and Grace Sparks

A big majority of voters, about two-thirds, made their 2018 election decision before the last month, according to preliminary exit poll results.

Only one-in-five said they decided in the last month and even fewer said they made up their minds in the last few days or last week.

About four-in-five have voted in a midterm election before, but about 15% said that this is the first time they've voted in a midterm. About 10% said they were first-time voters in the 2016 election.