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Beto O'Rourke at a rally in Iowa. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Among the younger 2020 candidates, Ohio swing voters think Donald Trump should be most concerned if Beto O'Rourke is the Democratic nominee — but they're not sure he can beat him.

Between the lines: This was another takeaway from the Engagious/FPG focus group I watched last week. Participants were shown 2-minute video clips from O'Rourke, Julián Castro, Tulsi Gabbard, and Pete Buttigieg and asked to score them based on who Trump should be most concerned about heading into his re-election.

  • Although these voters — who have flipped between parties in past presidential elections — ranked Beto as the biggest threat among the four candidates, they only scored him a 5.7 out of 10.
  • Castro and Buttigieg tied at 3.8 and Gabbard came in at 2.1.
  • In the latest Morning Consult poll, Beto ranked higher than these other candidates, too.

Why it matters: That's still not great for Democrats. Their reactions to the candidates, including Beto, show the personality traits these candidates need to shed to win over some swing voters in Ohio.

What they're saying: After watching Beto's announcement video, participants described him as "overdramatic," someone who is trying to "offer too much," and a candidate who just tells you "what you want to hear."

  • Others described him as "unrealistic" and "boring."
  • After watching videos for these four candidates, the voters were asked to rate, on a scale from zero to 10, whether they think the Democratic Party's future is dim (zero) or bright (10). The average score was just over 7, suggesting these swing voters think younger candidates like Beto are going to carry the party in a positive direction.

Go deeper: Ohio voters crave Obama

Go deeper

Scoop: Border officials project 13,000 child migrants in May

The "El Chaparral" border crossing at Tijuana. Photo: Stringer/Picture Alliance via Getty Images

A Customs and Border Protection staffer told top administration officials Thursday the agency is projecting a peak of 13,000 unaccompanied children crossing the border in May, sources directly familiar with the discussion told Axios.

Why it matters: That projection would exceed the height of the 2019 crisis, which led to the infamous "kids-in-cages" disaster. It also underscores a rapidly escalating crisis for the Biden administration.

9 hours ago - World

U.S. strikes Iran-backed militia facilities in Syria

President Biden at the Pentagon on Feb. 10. Photo: Alex Brandon - Pool/Getty Images

The United States on Thursday carried out an airstrike against facilities in Syria linked to an Iran-backed militia group, the Pentagon announced.

The state of play: The strike, approved by President Biden, comes "in response to recent attacks against American and Coalition personnel in Iraq, and to ongoing threats to those personnel," Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said in a statement.

Senate parliamentarian rules $15 minimum wage cannot be included in relief package

Photo: Al Drago/Getty Images

The Senate parliamentarian ruled Thursday that the provision to increase the minimum wage to $15/hour cannot be included in the broader $1.9 trillion COVID relief package.

Why it matters: It's now very likely that any increase in the minimum wage will need bipartisan support, as the provision cannot be passed with the simple Senate majority that Democrats are aiming to use for President Biden's rescue bill.