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Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Bruce Mehlman of Mehlman Castagnetti Rosen & Thomas has found a new way to measure House Republicans' peril: "vulnerability ratio," which he measures as the net number of seats at risk versus the number needed to flip.

Why it matters: Mehlman, a former lawyer for House Republicans, fears that measure is worse for the majority party than it was in 2006 or 2010, when the House flipped.

His explanation:

  • With 38 GOP House seats rated toss-up or worse by Cook Political Report, to only three Dem Seats, 2018 Republicans have net 35 seats at risk, significantly more than they can afford to lose (23). 
  • With 152% of Repubicans' margin vulnerable, they're in a more perilous position than Democrats in 2010 (when 123% of their margin was vulnerable) or Republicans in 2006 (119%).
  • The Cook data for each year is from the House ratings closest to Labor Day for each cycle.
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Go deeper

5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Sources say Beto plans Texas comeback in governor’s race

Former U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke speaks during the Georgetown to Austin March for Democracy rally on July 31, 2021, in Austin, Texas. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke is preparing to run for governor of Texas in 2022, with an announcement expected later this year, Texas political operatives tell Axios.

Why it matters: O'Rourke's entry would give Democrats a high-profile candidate with a national fundraising network to challenge Republican Gov. Greg Abbott — and give O’Rourke, a former three-term congressman from El Paso and 2020 presidential candidate and voting rights activist, a path to a political comeback.

Texas doctor says he performed an abortion in violation of state law

Pro-choice protesters march down Congress Avenue and back to the Texas state capitol in Austin, Texas, in July 2021. Photo: Erich Schlegel/Getty Images

A Texas doctor disclosed in an op-ed in the Washington Post on Saturday that he has performed an abortion in violation of the state's restrictive new abortion law, which effectively bans the procedure after six weeks.

Why it matters: Alan Braid's op-ed is a direct disclosure that will very likely result in legal action, thereby setting it up as a potential test case for how the abortion ban will be litigated, notes the New York Times.

Mike Allen, author of AM
6 hours ago - Technology

Axios interview: Facebook to try for more transparency

Nick Clegg last year. Photo: Matthew Sobocinski/USA Today via Reuters

Nick Clegg, Facebook's vice president of global affairs, tells me the company will try to provide more data to outside researchers to scrutinize the health of activity on Facebook and Instagram, following The Wall Street Journal's brutal look at internal documents.

Driving the news: Clegg didn't say that in his public response to the series. So I called him to push for what Facebook will actually do differently given the new dangers raised by The Journal.