BREAKING NEWS : Fort Wayne police investigating early morning shooting at Rodeway Inn Full Story

Reality check: Midterms hinge on these voters

CNN's John Avlon says the past two midterm elections show that the balance of power could lie in the hands of independent voters.

Posted: Nov 6, 2018 6:54 AM
Updated: Nov 6, 2018 7:15 AM

No matter what happens today in the elections, remember that we're all still on the same team. And by all means, go out there and vote! Here's what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door. (You can also get "5 Things You Need to Know Today" delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here.)

1. Midterm elections

He's not on the ballot, but today's midterm elections are all about President Trump. He'll either be rewarded for overseeing a booming economy or punished for his policies and unconventional style. Either way, we've never seen midterms with this much hype. Independents may end up being Trump's political judge and jury. And these 10 races could offer early hints about how things may shake out. Check out the eight biggest questions this election could answer. Most importantly, here's a voting guide to help you figure out where to vote, poll opening and closing times and where to get results for your state. Here's what to do if you're turned away at the polls. And, of course, get the latest updates on CNN TV and CNN.com.

One more thing: Did you vote in the midterms (or will you today)? We'd like you to send us a pic of you (or you and the kids, or you and whomever) with your "I Voted" sticker for our roundup of "50 votes, 50 stickers and you." Please email it with your name, city -- and whatever else you'd like to add -- to: andrea.diaz@turner.com. Make your state's name the subject line.

2. Cameroon

Officials in Cameroon are desperately searching for 79 boys and girls kidnapped by armed men from a school. The men entered the Presbyterian Secondary School in Bamenda, in the country's Northwest region, overwhelmed a guard and forced him to take them to the sleeping children. The men tried to take the students away in a school bus, but the driver pretended there was something wrong with the vehicle, so the men took off with the children on foot. A school spokesman said the kidnappers might be English-speaking secessionists who want independence from Cameroon's largely French-influenced government.

3. USA Gymnastics

The US Olympic Committee has had enough. After watching USA Gymnastics struggle to recover from the sex abuse scandal involving former team doctor Larry Nassar, the committee wants to pull USA Gymnastics' status as the sport's governing body. USOC CEO Sarah Hirshland has offered USA Gymnastics the option of surrendering its status voluntarily. USA Gymnastics said it was "evaluating the best path forward" but didn't indicate if it would challenge the USOC's actions.

4. Amazon

Amazon may be throwing the cities competing to be the home of its next headquarters a big ol' curve ball. Instead of picking one city to house HQ2, the tech behemoth reportedly is going to pick two. So, those 50,000 high-paying jobs promised with the $5 billion project would be split between two locations. The latest word on the street, as they say, is that northern Virginia, Dallas and New York City are still in the running to land HQ2, among 20 finalists. Amazon's reportedly doing the split to make sure it can recruit enough talent. The two winners will be announced by the end of the year, Amazon says.

5. Space

So, a long, cigar-shaped object zipped through our solar system last year. Scientists struggled to explain what it was. Asteroid? Comet? Now, some researchers at Harvard are offering a startling theory: alien space probe. Say what? In a new paper, they say the elongated dark-red object, which they call Oumuamua, might have an "artificial origin." The object is 10 times as long as it is wide and travels at 196,000 mph. "Oumuamua may be a fully operational probe sent intentionally to Earth vicinity by an alien civilization," the paper reads. If you're fearing an "Independence Day"-style invasion, calm down. Oumuamua left our solar system in January.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

Lady luck

She won half that $687 million Powerball prize right after she bought a house. Guess she'll have a decent budget to do an extreme home makeover.

Gimme a (customized) break

Like Kit Kats? Then hop a flight to Japan to visit the KitKat Chocolatory, where you can trick out your fave chocolate treat with just about anything you want.

Good customers

When the doughnut shop owner puts the goodies out, his customers buy out his inventory in just hours so he can go take care of his sick wife.

What you really, really want

If all you really, really wanted was a Spice Girls reunion, today's your lucky day. The '90s hitmakers are going back on tour -- but without Posh Spice.

HAPPENING LATER

Binge-worthy

Want to catch up on "Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown" or "This Is Life with Lisa Ling"? Now's your chance: Starting today at 5 p.m. ET, select CNN Original Series will be available for free on CNNgo for a limited time.

TODAY'S NUMBER

57

That's how many miles a runaway train traveled across Australia before it was deliberately derailed. Thankfully, no one was hurt.

AND FINALLY

Teamwork makes the dream work

This crafty pair doesn't have to wait for anyone to bring them a bowl of water. (Click to view.)

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 73287

Reported Deaths: 3036
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion15701725
Lake7496275
Elkhart480184
Allen3835163
St. Joseph342381
Hamilton2723104
Vanderburgh192213
Hendricks1871108
Cass17869
Johnson1741118
Porter129439
Clark120247
Tippecanoe118911
Madison94365
LaPorte89430
Howard88465
Kosciusko84712
Bartholomew78047
Marshall77422
Floyd77246
Monroe74630
Delaware71452
Dubois68712
Boone67246
Noble66329
Hancock64738
Vigo61910
Jackson5855
Warrick57930
LaGrange55710
Shelby54627
Grant52630
Dearborn49628
Morgan46734
Clinton4303
Henry37620
Wayne36810
White36110
Montgomery35221
Lawrence34227
Decatur33532
Harrison32723
Putnam2868
Miami2692
Scott26610
Daviess26420
Greene24634
Franklin24114
Jasper2342
DeKalb2304
Jennings22412
Gibson2214
Steuben2073
Ripley1997
Fayette1867
Carroll1852
Perry18412
Starke1777
Posey1700
Orange16924
Wabash1653
Fulton1642
Wells1622
Jefferson1602
Knox1510
Whitley1516
Washington1391
Tipton1379
Spencer1313
Huntington1223
Newton11810
Randolph1184
Clay1165
Sullivan1131
Adams962
Jay910
Owen871
Pulaski791
Rush764
Brown731
Fountain732
Blackford632
Ohio635
Benton610
Pike530
Parke511
Vermillion490
Switzerland460
Crawford440
Martin430
Union390
Warren221
Unassigned0202

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 99969

Reported Deaths: 3668
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin18182523
Cuyahoga13414499
Hamilton9583255
Lucas5288323
Montgomery431894
Summit3523222
Marion292245
Butler289163
Mahoning2532255
Pickaway238342
Stark1813139
Warren176739
Lorain173678
Columbiana165660
Trumbull1518106
Fairfield136732
Delaware129219
Licking126049
Clark114214
Lake111138
Wood103058
Clermont92111
Medina91435
Miami83238
Tuscarawas78114
Portage75461
Allen73244
Greene68412
Belmont62126
Mercer60513
Richland60012
Erie57027
Ashtabula56246
Geauga55444
Wayne52958
Ross4684
Huron3955
Darke39329
Ottawa37726
Sandusky37316
Hancock3723
Athens3561
Madison35510
Holmes3276
Lawrence2790
Auglaize2506
Union2461
Muskingum2251
Jefferson2242
Scioto2241
Putnam20517
Seneca2043
Knox2037
Washington20222
Preble2012
Coshocton1926
Shelby1904
Crawford1745
Champaign1732
Morrow1682
Hardin16412
Clinton1626
Highland1561
Logan1522
Fulton1471
Wyandot1458
Ashland1433
Defiance1424
Williams1343
Brown1272
Perry1233
Guernsey1167
Henry1162
Hocking1169
Fayette1120
Carroll1115
Monroe9118
Pike760
Jackson740
Van Wert711
Paulding670
Gallia651
Adams592
Meigs380
Vinton312
Harrison261
Morgan250
Noble170
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 81°
Angola
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 79°
Huntington
Clear
76° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 78°
Decatur
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 79°
Van Wert
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 79°
Sunny, Seasonable Saturday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events