2. The 5 bellwethers of a GOP wave election

Illustration of a prize ribbon with abstract ballot elements in the background.

Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

Here are five of the most hotly contested congressional races that political insiders are watching closely to determine whether Democrats will beat expectations on Nov. 8, or whether a red wave could reemerge just before Election Day.

Between the lines: If these seats stay or turn red, Republicans can pop the champagne corks early. But if Democrats hold their ground on friendly turf, it's a sign that any Republican wave has turned into a ripple.

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