Politics & Government

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Just hours after Maine voters became the first in the nation to use the ballot box to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, Republican Gov. Paul LePage said he wouldn't implement it unless the Legislature funds the state's share of an expansion.

"Give me the money and I will enforce the referendum," LePage said. Unless the Legislature fully funds the expansion — without raising taxes or using the state's rainy day fund — he said he will not implement it.

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Here to talk more about last night's results is former Virginia Republican Congressman Tom Davis. Welcome to the program once again.

TOM DAVIS: It's great to be back.

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Yesterday's election was good for Democrats like Phil Murphy, who won New Jersey's gubernatorial race and Ralph Northam, now Virginia's governor-elect. Here's Northam last night.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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Now more on the elections. We're going to talk with Tom Perez, who chairs the Democratic National Committee. Welcome to the program.

TOM PEREZ: It's great to be back with you, Robert.

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One year out from the 2018 midterm elections, Democrats see light ahead while Republicans are being dragged down by President Trump.

Democrats got a huge boost after big wins in Virginia and other states on Tuesday in a repudiation of Trump's victory just one year ago, finally harnessing the backlash against an unpopular president to wins at the ballot box. Now, they must keep that momentum going.

If the Republican Party has spent the last 30 years looking for another Ronald Reagan, the Democrats have spent the last 70 looking for another Franklin D. Roosevelt.

The latter case of longing is likely to intensify with Robert Dallek's new single-volume biography, Franklin D. Roosevelt: A Political Life, a 700-page tome devoted to demonstrating "what great presidential leadership looks like."

Tuesday's election not only brought Democratic wins in high-profile gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey, but it also saw historic victories for women, minority and LGBTQ candidates in down-ballot races nationwide.

The government is dropping its case against the woman who laughed out loud during Attorney General Jeff Sessions' confirmation hearing in January.

Desiree Fairooz is an activist with the anti-war organization Code Pink. She said her laugh was involuntary, spurred by Sen. Richard Shelby's statement that Sessions' "extensive record of treating all Americans equally under the law is clear and well-documented."

Democrats won up and down the ballot Tuesday night, notably in the governors' races in Virginia and New Jersey. The victories were a much needed sigh of relief for a party that hadn't had any high-profile victories at the ballot box during the first year of the Trump presidency — despite his record-low approval ratings.

Here are seven takeaways from what happened Tuesday and what it means:

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Democrats got some badly needed wins last night. The party took back the governorship of New Jersey and also held on to the governor's seat in Virginia. And that Virginia race was seen as a test of President Trump's popularity. Here's the winner, physician Ralph Northam.

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Collectively speaking, the Democrats haven't had a good day in a very long time. Yesterday, though, they finally came out on top.

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Updated at 6:50 a.m. ET

It was a good night for Democrats in some of the nation's largest cities.

New York's Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio, a forceful critic of President Trump, easily won a second term. And Democrats also won several major cities and closely watched races, including those in Boston, Charlotte, N.C., and Seattle.

With all of the precincts counted, de Blasio had 66 percent of the vote to 28 percent for his main rival, Republican Nicole Malliotakis.

Updated at 6:50 a.m. ET

Voters in Maine have easily approved a referendum to expand Medicaid for low-income adults, doing an end-run around Republican Gov. Paul LePage, who vetoed the move — a key element of Obamacare.

Maine is one of a handful of states deciding major issues by referendum on Tuesday, including New York and Ohio.

A transgender woman has won a seat in Virginia's House of Delegates. Danica Roem defeated an incumbent who had sponsored a bill earlier this year that would have restricted which bathroom transgender people could use.

It's the first time someone who's said they were transgender has been elected to a state legislature.

Roem, a Democrat, decisively defeated Republican Del. Bob Marshall in a Northern Virginia district near Washington, D.C. Marshall had held the seat since 1992 and had been a prominent religious conservative in Virginia politics.

President Trump delivered a warning to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un not to underestimate U.S. resolve in the face of Pyongyang's nuclear threats. Trump also challenged other nations — especially China — not to stand idly by while Kim pursues his aggressive nuclear program.

Updated at 11:44 p.m. ET

Democrat Ralph Northam has easily won the Virginia governor's race, defeating Republican Ed Gillespie in a stinging rebuke to President Trump.

House Republicans made steady progress Tuesday on their goal to pass a sweeping tax bill in their chamber by Thanksgiving, as Senate leaders prepared to release their own tax legislation later this week.

The quick progress comes as Republicans race to pass steep tax cuts into law by Christmas to meet a deadline set by President Trump. But significant challenges lie ahead as Republicans try to avoid repeating the bitter party infighting that doomed earlier attempts to pass a GOP health care bill.

President Trump is facing a lawsuit for blocking people from his Twitter account.

This week some First Amendment advocates joined the suit — and they are making a novel argument about the right to communicate with the president in the digital age.

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When Donald Trump won the election a year ago, he promised to be a transformational president, to drain the swamp, shake up the establishment and do away with gridlock. He also predicted that being president would change him.

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