Updated Jun 25, 2018

Meet the 2018 swing voter: #NeverHillary Independents

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

The most important voter in the 2018 election, the new Soccer Moms, will be #NeverHillary Independents — and they're key to Democrats for taking back the House.

Who they are: The #NeverHillary Independents supported Barack Obama and Donald Trump for a similar reason: They wanted change. They saw their worldview reflected not on cable news, but in sitcoms like Roseanne.

The outlook ... President Trump won the election because of these voters, beating Hillary Clinton among this group by 17 points.

  • But 20% of Trump's voters told exit pollsters they didn't like him.
  • That's significant because recent data shows a large percentage of people are basing their 2018 votes on whether or not they like the president.
  • So the question is: If you voted for Trump in 2016 despite not liking him, are you going to vote for Democrats in November?
  • An important stat: Although these voters didn't like Clinton, they love women candidates this year. More than 100 Democratic women have won their primaries so far.

The backdrop ... Swing voter groups are often decisive:

  • NASCAR Dads dominated the 2004 election. They were "small-town middle-aged white men, typically from the South, who considered themselves Democrats but lean Republican when it comes to the president," per ESPN.
  • Soccer Moms helped Bill Clinton to victory in 1996. They embodied "the concerns of a huge swath of suburban female voters," the N.Y. Times wrote. "The hands that steered the mini-van were also deciding whether to turn left or right in the Presidential election."
  • Single, white women were the focus ahead of the 2016 election, but evangelicals and non-college educated whites put Trump over the top.

Be smart: Campaigns are getting more sophisticated every year, allowing strategists and campaigns to identify exactly who is persuadable and how to persuade them. That could help them engineer a bigger win among these independent-minded voters in 2018.

The bottom line: If nearly half of voters say their support of a Democratic candidate is in opposition to President Trump and the GOP, the #NeverHillary Independents from 2016 could tip the scale toward Democrats in 2018.

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U.S. coronavirus updates: Death toll tops 5,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The novel coronavirus has now killed more than 5,100 people in the United States, as more state governors issued stay-at-home orders Wednesday to curb the spread. Over 216,000 people are now infected and more than 8,500 others have recovered.

The state of play: Trump administration officials are anonymously sounding the alarm that America's emergency stockpile of personal protective equipment is running dangerously low, the Washington Post reports.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 40 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3:30 a.m. ET: 938,373 — Total deaths: 47,261 — Total recoveries: 194,330Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3:30 a.m. ET: 216,722 — Total deaths: 5,137 — Total recoveries: 8,672Map.
  3. Business updates: Small businesses are bearing the brunt of the coronavirus job crisis.
  4. World updates: Spain’s confirmed cases surpassed 100,000, and the nation saw its biggest daily death toll so far. More than 500 people were reported dead within the last 24 hours in the U.K., per Johns Hopkins.
  5. State updates: Florida and Pennsylvania are the latest states to issue stay-at-home orders — Michigan has more than 9,000 confirmed cases, an increase of 1,200 and 78 new deaths in 24 hours.
  6. Stock market updates: Stocks closed more than 4% lower on Wednesday, continuing a volatile stretch for the stock market amid the coronavirus outbreak.
  7. 1 future thing: Shifts to telemedicine, at-home diagnostics, and drone delivery are all likely lasting consequences from this pandemic.
  8. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Pakistan overturns murder conviction in killing of U.S. journalist

A memorial for Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. Photo: Sion Touhig/Getty Images

A Pakistan appeals court has overturned the murder conviction and death sentence of the man convicted of killing U.S. journalist Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reported early Thursday.

The big picture: Pearl, who was the Journal's South Asia correspondent, was abducted in Karachi in 2002. British-born Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh had his sentence reduced to seven years and three other men, who were originally given life sentences for helping him, were acquitted, per the BBC. A report by the Pearl Project at Georgetown University alleged Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who is being held in Guantanamo Bay over the 9/11 attacls, carried out the journalist's beheading.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.