With victory at hand, Elissa Slotkin could not shake the feeling of imminent defeat. Two years to the day after winning her first race for Congress, Slotkin, a former CIA analyst who ran to represent Michigan’s 8th Congressional District as a pragmatic “Midwestern Democrat,” leaned forward on the sofa inside her family’s farmhouse. The smell of success was in the air—literally. Her husband, Dave, stacked a table high with trays of Indian food; a group of Slotkin’s campaign aides were arriving for a celebratory feast after securing her a second term in the House of Representatives. There was, suddenly, all the more reason for jubilation: Hours earlier, every major news outlet had called the presidential race for Joe Biden, ending an 84-hour stalemate that had America biting its fingernails.