Democrats got what they needed on Tuesday night, but not what they really, really wanted.
On another confounding election night in America, Democrats smashed the Republican House majority, and could win in the range of 35 seats by the time all is said and done.
But there is no partying in the streets tonight. Something is missing.
Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum lost the Florida governor’s race. Ditto for Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s bid to unseat Sen. Ted Cruz. Former Georgia House minority leader Stacey Abrams fell short in her pioneering run to become the first female African American governor in US history.
Three rising stars — each of them with a certain mixture of chops and personal magnetism — demanding change in states that Democrats desperately wanted to win again, or win over after a generation on the outside, all fell short on Election Day.
Instead, the party will have to dig a little deeper for inspiration.
To Kansas, perhaps, where a Democrat, Laura Kelly, will be governor, breaking GOP control of the state. Or to Iowa, where Democrats are leading in three congressional races.
Or to Michigan, where Gretchen Whitmer is projected to reclaim the governorship for Democrats and become the new face of liberalism in the Midwest.
But that’s all for tomorrow.