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Here for the book club? Fernández supporters at the launch of her new book, "Sincerely." Photo: Emiliano Lasalvia/AFP/Getty Images

Argentina's center-right ruling coalition suffered a resounding defeat Sunday in regional elections, but the lessons ahead of October's presidential vote are less clear cut.

The big picture: The landslide winner in Córdoba, incumbent Gov. Juan Schiaretti, falls between two pillars of Argentine politics — Mauricio Macri, the unpopular president, and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, his populist predecessor. Fernández is aiming for a political comeback despite facing a slew of corruption charges.

  • "Amid economic turmoil that has battered Argentina’s markets, job losses and stubborn inflation, hard-hit voters have been losing faith in Macri, though many are wary of turning back to ... Fernández, seen as the likely main contender," per Reuters.
  • What to watch: A recent poll put Fernández 9 points ahead of Macri in a hypothetical second-round matchup. Fernández held a campaign-style rally last week to launch her new book, which is already a smash hit, the FT reports.

Flashback, from the FT's outgoing Latin America editor John Paul Rathbone:

  • "[F]our years ago, I was amazed, as were many, when [Macri] unexpectedly won Argentina’s presidency. He was young, apparently sensible and open-minded. Most important of all, he was unencumbered by ideology or nostalgic nationalism."
  • "Wonderful irony: perhaps the continent was at last rejecting the siren call of populism, just as the west had begun to embrace it. Yet now, the region, or at least Brazil and Mexico, have apparently returned to form and elected 'national saviors' as their leaders. Is there ever an escape from the labyrinth?"

Zoom out: The Economist lays out "clear signs of disenchantment with democracy" across Latin America in this week's edition.

Go deeper

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. sounds alarm on Ukraine

Conscripts line up at a Russian railway station yesterday before departing for Army service. Photo: Sergei Malgavko/TASS via Getty Images

The Biden administration is "deeply concerned" by new intelligence — detailed for Axios and other outlets — showing Russia stepping up preparations to invade Ukraine as soon as early 2022.

Why it matters: Most of this was known from public sources and satellite imagery, but the administration is sending a stronger signal by releasing specific details from the intelligence community.

CNN fires Chris Cuomo

Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for CNN

CNN said Saturday evening it has fired one of its star anchors, Chris Cuomo, following new revelations from a legal review made by the company into Cuomo's involvement in the management of his brother's sexual harassment scandal.

Why it matters: Saturday's firing speaks to how much pressure CNN was under by employees and critics to address Cuomo's behavior.

Updated 8 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Electric car prices could go up before they come down

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The secret to affordable electric vehicles is cheaper batteries. But after years of falling prices, battery costs are now headed in the wrong direction.

Why it matters: Costlier batteries could drive up the price of electric vehicles — threatening the auto industry's transition away from fossil fuels, and, in turn, society's fight against climate change.