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The blue wave threatening to crush Trump's re-election chances is growing

With 102 days until Election Day, the blue wave threatening to swamp President Trump's re-election chances keeps getting bigger and bigger.

Why it matters: We all know that anything can happen. But right now, every measurable trend is going against Trump — and with each day that passes, it gets increasingly harder for him to claw his way back.


The Cook Political Report on Friday flipped Florida from "toss-up" to "leans Democratic," citing the state's spiraling coronavirus outbreak.

  • That follows a Quinnipiac poll on Thursday that showed Joe Biden leading by 13 points in the Sunshine State. For context, Trump led Hillary Clinton by 3 points in the same poll in mid-July 2016.

Our thought bubble, from Axios White House editor Margaret Talev: Trump's re-election path has to go through Florida.

  • Without it, he's done.

The tsunami flows down-ballot: Charlie Cook and his team now like Democrats' chances to reclaim the Senate, shifting races in Arizona, Georgia and Iowa in their favor this week.

  • Cook also moved 20 House races toward Democrats.
  • Dave Wasserman, its House editor, said he couldn't recall a similarly sized shift for one party.

The big picture: Trump's net approval rating (-15) has remained remarkably consistent throughout his presidency, highlighting the difficulty he faces in trying to quickly turn around public opinion.

  • 538's Harry Enten noted on CNN this morning that, since 1940, incumbent presidents who were re-elected had an average net approval rating of +23.
  • Those who lost had an average net approval rating of -14.

The bottom line: The pandemic isn't going anywhere. And no matter what the president wants, it's going to define everything from here on out.

  • 102 days ago, the U.S. had 860,000 confirmed coronavirus cases (now 4 million), and Trump claimed "total" authority over ordering states to reopen.
  • Think of everything that's happened since.

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Why the startup world needs to ditch "unicorns" for "dragons"

When Aileen Lee originally coined the term "unicorn" in late 2013, she was describing the 39 "U.S.-based software companies started since 2003 and valued at over $1 billion by public or private market investors."

Flashback: It got redefined in early 2015 by yours truly and Erin Griffith, in a cover story for Fortune, as any privately-held startup valued at $1 billion or more. At the time, we counted 80 of them.

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Why it matters: The changes could reduce traffic to some news publishers, particularly companies that post a lot of political content.

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Amazon is investing heavily in a new live audio feature that's similar to other live audio offerings like Clubhouse, Twitter Spaces and Spotify's new live audio platform, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: As with Amazon's efforts in podcasting and music subscriptions, the company sees live audio as a way to bolster the types of content it can offer through its voice assistant, Alexa, and its smart speaker products.

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Hurricane Ida exposes America's precarious energy infrastructure

The powerful hurricane that plunged New Orleans into darkness for what could be weeks is the latest sign that U.S. power systems are not ready for a warmer, more volatile world.

The big picture: “Our current infrastructure is not adequate when it comes to these kinds of weather extremes,” Joshua Rhodes, a University of Texas energy expert, tells Axios.

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"We must go further": 70% of adults in European Union are fully vaccinated

About 70% of adults in the European Union are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, said Tuesday.

Why it matters: The milestone makes the E.U. one of the world's leaders in inoculations, after an initially lagging vaccine campaign, the New York Times notes.

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What Elizabeth Holmes jurors will be asked ahead of fraud trial

Jury selection begins today in USA v. Elizabeth Holmes, with the actual jury trial to get underway on Sept. 8.

Why it matters: Theranos was the biggest fraud in Silicon Valley history, putting both hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of patients' health at risk.

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