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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. 
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Go deeper

Joint Chiefs chair Gen. Mark Milley tests positive for COVID-19

Photo: Olivier Douliery - Pool/Getty Images

Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday.

State of play: Joint Staff spokesperson Col. Dave Butler said in a statement that Milley — who is fully vaccinated and has received a booster shot — is experiencing "very minor symptoms" and is "working remotely and isolating himself."

Momentum builds to ban lawmakers from trading stocks

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Some progressive Democrats and MAGA Republicans are uniting on a proposal to ban sitting lawmakers from trading individual stocks, although it's unlikely that leadership will bring the bill up for a vote.

Why it matters: Members of Congress have great power to move stock prices, and great financial incentives to do so.

Updated 4 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Thousands without power as "hazardous" winter storm lashes East Coast

Satellite imagery of the Northeastern U.S. taken by NOAA on Jan. 17. Photo: NOAA

A major winter storm was lashing much of the East Coast on Sunday, causing widespread power outages and disrupting travel over the holiday weekend.

The latest: The Weather Prediction Center said in a storm summary Monday that winter storm warnings are still in effect for portions of the Central Appalachians, Ohio Valley, interior Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast, while other portions of the Central Appalachians and coastal New England are under high wind warnings.