Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Democrats — after trying to resist bashing President Trump during the midterms and instead focus on their health-care message — are savoring the chance to go all-in now that he's going to be on the ballot.

  • Driving the news: Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's announcement video included a brief section about Trump. And during her first press conference as a presidential candidate, she mentioned him early and often: “Donald Trump has chosen to tear the country apart. I believe he’s literally ripping apart the fabric of our country.”

Nevertheless, Sen. Elizabeth Warren has gotten press attention for barely mentioning Trump on the trail.

  • Warren has been Trump's favorite opponent so far — he's tweeted about her numerous times since she announced her 2020 run.

What they're saying: "Not only is it advantageous [to talk about Trump], but it’s necessary," said Paul Maslin, a Democratic strategist who was Howard Dean's campaign pollster in 2004. "The risk is much greater to not do it because he dominates our politics and what is driving the news."

  • Maslin pointed to Trump's unfavorable rating among Democratic voters (93%) and said that's evidence enough that candidates should be talking about him.
  • That toxicity among Democrats can help in tangible ways, too. "To raise money, Donald Trump’s name is magic with Democratic donors," said Jim Messina, Barack Obama's 2012 campaign manager.

The challenge for any Democrat running in a crowded 2020 primary field is to determine when and how to talk about Trump in a way that's different from the others.

  • "If someone’s out there relishing attacking Donald Trump and that’s their only message, not only should they not be the president but they won’t be elected president," said Philippe Reines, a former Clinton adviser who's worked with her since 2002.
  • "No matter how substantive an HRC speech would be in 2016, if there was one line on Trump, that's what would be the one that was on the news," tweeted Rebecca Katz, a Democratic strategist who most recently worked on Cynthia Nixon's gubernatorial campaign.

Go deeper

Jeff Sessions loses Alabama Senate primary runoff

Jeff Sessions. Photo: Michael DeMocker/Getty Images

Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions has lost the Republican nomination for Senate to Tommy Tuberville in Alabama in Tuesday night’s primary runoff, AP reports.

Why it matters: Sessions had been the underdog in the race against former Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville, who had the backing of President Trump. Tuberville will now face off against Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) in November, who is considered to have one of the most vulnerable Democratic Senate seats in the country.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 13,273,537 — Total deaths: 577,006 — Total recoveries — 7,367,106Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 3,424,304 — Total deaths: 136,432 — Total recoveries: 1,049,098 — Total tested: 41,764,557Map.
  3. Politics: Biden welcomes Trump wearing mask in public but warns "it’s not enough"
  4. Public health: Four former CDC heads say Trump's undermining of agency puts lives at risk — CDC director: U.S. could get coronavirus "under control" in 4–8 weeks if all wear masks.

Bank CEOs brace for worsening economic scenario

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon. Photo: J. Lawler Duggan/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

Wells Fargo swung to its first loss since the financial crisis — while JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup reported significantly lower profits from a year earlier — as the banks set aside billions of dollars more in the second quarter for loans that may go bad.

Why it matters: The cumulative $28 billion in loan loss provisions that banks have so far announced they’re reserving serves as a signal they’re preparing for a colossal wave of loan defaults as the economy slogs through a coronavirus-driven downturn.