Morning Briefing

The Democrats won and Donald Trump lost” in yesterday’s midterm elections, said columnist Michael Sean Winters, but it wasn’t the blue wave some hoped for. Abortion, he said, is still a big issue for many Catholic voters, and he recommends Peter Steinfels’ column in the Washington Post as required reading for all Dems. But elections will be won on economic, not social, issues, he said.

The Democrats’ takeover of the House of Representatives included wins by Catholic candidates, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York and Mary Gay Scanlon in Pennsylvania. A record number of women were elected to the House, including the first two Muslim women in Congress and the first two Native women.

But some high-profile Catholics lost their races, most notably Beto O’Rourke’s longshot attempt to unseat Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, where NCR’s Maria Benevento reported about attempts to encourage Latinos to vote.

Prolife Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly lost in Indiana and Danny O’Connor lost his attempt to flip Ohio’s 12th district, where I had reported about the division in “50/50 land.” Catholic Mike DeWine, a Republican, won the Ohio governorship.

The Dems did flip Iowa’s 1st District, where NCR’s Brian Roewe found a majority of voters opposed Trump’s tariffs, although some farmers were willing to give Trump some time.

Did the “nuns on the bus” have an effect? Global Sisters Report’s Michele Morek thinks so. During her two weeks on the bus, she heard from many Americans worried about how the president’s tax cuts hurt the middle class and working people.

Although there were some victories against NRA-backed candidates, the Parkland students who had campaigned in the aftermath of the school shooting that killed 17 of their classmates, were discouraged with pro-gun wins for Senate and governor in their state of Florida.

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Still young voters turned out in higher numbers in some states, including in Illinois, where voters flipped the governorship and several key House seats. (And if you want to hear from young Catholics, this collection of essays is a good place to start.)

Although President Trump characterized the asylum seekers in a caravan from Honduras as invaders, faith leaders who are assisting them say they should be seen as fellow human beings fleeing violence and poverty.

The U.S. elections were a topic of conversation at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Toronto, with speakers expressing concerns about what they see as “Christian supremacy” among some U.S. political leaders, including Trump.

In non-midterm news, USCCB head Cardinal Daniel DiNardo is under fire for revelations that the Diocese of Sioux City concealed a priest-abuser while DeNardo was a bishop there.

The bishops are preparing for their annual fall meeting, which begins Monday in Baltimore. Responding to sex abuse will be on the agenda, but so will a pastoral letter on racism.


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