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Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Sen. Lindsay Graham explained his support for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh at The Atlantic Festival on Wednesday, saying the Republican Party has never been more unified than it is now because of Democrats' actions.

"Whether you’re a Trump Republican, a Bush Republican, a McCain Republican, a libertarian or a vegetarian — you’re pissed. I’ve never seen the Republican Party so unified as I do right now. The defining issue in 2018 has changed. It’s about this."

The big picture: Red-state Senate Democrats up for re-election could face voters' wrath over the Kavanaugh issue next month as Republicans gamble that Dems' opposition to Kavanaugh will hurt them more than it helps.

More from Graham:

  • Referencing Merrick Garland, he said if a Supreme Court vacancy should occur at the end of Trump's term, things will play out the same: "If an opening comes in the last year of President Trump’s term, and the primary process has started, we’ll wait until the next election."
  • On Trump's mockery of Christine Blaey Ford at his Mississippi rally: "President Trump went through a factual rendition that I didn’t particularly like, and I would tell him, 'Knock it off, you’re not helping.'"
  • On North Korea: "I’m worried that North Korea is dividing us from South Korea. I’m worried that we’re being played here. I’m telling President Trump, enough with 'I love you.’ This is not a guy to love.”

Go deeper

Why migrants are fleeing their homes for the U.S.

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios Photo: Herika Martinez /Getty Images 

Natural disasters in Central America, economic devastation, gang wars, political oppression, and a new administration are all driving the sharp rise in U.S.-Mexico border crossings — a budding crisis for President Biden.

Why it matters: Migration flows are complex and quickly politicized. Biden's policies are likely sending signals that are encouraging the surge — but that's only a small reason it's happening.

Cities' pandemic struggle to balance homelessness and public safety

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Addressing homelessness has taken on new urgency in cities across the country over the past year, as officials grapple with a growing unhoused population and the need to preserve public safety during the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: It’s led to tension when cities move in to clear encampments — often for health and safety reasons — causing some to rethink the role of law enforcement when interacting with people experiencing homelessness.

Biden to sign voting rights order to mark "Bloody Sunday" anniversary

President Biden will sign an executive order today, on the 56th anniversary of "Bloody Sunday," meant to promote voting rights, according to an administration official.

Why it matters: The executive order comes as Democrats face an uphill battle to pass a sweeping election bill meant, in part, to combat a growing number of proposals introduced by Republicans at the state level that would restrict voter access.