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Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

By all measures of American politics, this should be the moment Republicans cement an unstoppable governing majority. Charlie Cook of The Cook Political Report emails: "From the presidency, to Congress, governors and state legislatures, Republicans hold more offices than any time since the 1920s. ... This is the most favorable Senate map that either party has had in modern history, maybe ever. ... Things don’t get much better."

Instead, Republicans are blowing it — often in mind-boggling ways, officials tell Axios.

  • In a record number of House races, they're being outraised by Democrats who control nothing.
  • They're suffering retirements at record rates — putting very winnable House seats like Speaker Paul Ryan’s at far greater risk.
  • They look unlikely to win more than one or two — if any — of the Senate seats held by Democrats in states Trump won in 2016.
  • There's a 40% chance they blow the entire majority, based on our conversations with GOP leaders. 
  • They seem unlikely to reap much of the benefits from economic indicators that should be gold to run on. Think about it: They delivered huge tax cuts; unemployment is, remarkably, below 4%; wages are rising; economic optimism is surging.
  • They're sucking wind in campaign after campaign.
  • And they're alienating women — prompting a record number to run and vote. Remember: More women vote in presidential elections than men. 

A Republican official deeply involved in midterm campaigns told me: "If there was any way to reduce the noise (unlikely!!) we could survive. [There's] so much noise [that it doesn't] allow people to realize economy/life is good."

Be smart: This election could echo long from now. Republicans seem certain to end this election even more defined as the party of white men, a group slowly but surely shrinking in power.

  • There's a reason that the party’s autopsy after the 2012 election called for an urgent push for inclusion: Demographics don’t lie. 
Subscribe to Axios AM/PM for a daily rundown of what's new and why it matters, directly from Mike Allen.
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Go deeper

DOJ pressed to enforce Al Jazeera foreign agent ruling

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Justice Department is being pressed to enforce its own demand that the U.S. arm of Qatari broadcaster Al Jazeera register as a foreign agent.

Why it matters: The launch of Al Jazeera's new right-of-center U.S. media venture, Rightly, has refocused attention on the media company's alleged links to Doha, and DOJ's efforts to crack down on media outlets viewed as foreign interest mouthpieces.

Poll: Immigration is America's most-polarizing issue

Data: The American Aspirations Index/Populace; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Immigration was found to be the most polarizing issue in America based on new polling from Populace.

Why it matters: Americans have surprisingly similar priorities for the U.S., but immigration stands out as one of the few issues with clear partisan differences. It underscores the challenge for advocates and lawmakers hoping to pass immigration reform in the coming weeks amid narrow margins in Congress.

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Lawmakers hide behind AG's investigation as Cuomo lingers

A billboard outside Albany, N.Y. Photo: Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is politically wounded but not yet dead, several state lawmakers tell Axios.

The state of play: Most are holding their fire and punting to state Attorney General Letitia James' investigation into sexual harassment allegations. They expect the inquiry to be credible and thorough — and buy Cuomo badly needed breathing room.