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Something for both sides to celebrate

The town crier reads the election results for Sussex County Delaware during the Sussex County Return Day in Georgetown, Del., Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018. Following the nation's rancorous midterm elections, Delaware politicians are gathering for a time-honored, post-campaign ritual to settle their partisan differences, if only for the moment. Politicians of all stripes gathered for Return Day, where winners and losers ride together in horse-drawn carriages before a town crier announces the local election results. Local party leaders then symbolically "bury the hatchet" in a box of sand. (Jason Minto/Wilmington News Journal via AP)

The midterm elections provided a rare occasion for conservatives and liberals, Republicans and Democrats, to look at the same events and feel a shared sense of satisfaction and encouragement.

Republicans feel good about expanding their Senate majority and holding key governorships in Florida, Ohio, and elsewhere. Democrats take pride in capturing the House and flipping governorships in Illinois, Michigan and more. Republicans won big races in deep blue states like Massachusetts and Vermont; Democrats gained ground in GOP strongholds like Kansas and South Carolina.

Americans know how to split tickets: in Maryland, Republican Governor Larry Hogan and Democratic Senator Ben Cardin both won simultaneous landslides.

Though we tend to divide between GOP red and Democratic blue, Trump-haters vs. Trump true-believers, the election returns prove that Americans still care most about local issues plus the character and competence of their candidates.

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