Photo: Gali Tibbon/AFP via Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had a very bad political day.

Driving the news: Less than 50 days before Israel's third elections in a year, three new political developments will make his efforts to get re-elected much harder.

1. The three corruption indictments against Netanyahu are a defining factor in the election, particularly now that he is seeking parliamentary immunity.

  • In order to buy time, Netanyahu has attempted to stall the formation of the committee that will consider that immunity request.
  • But the opposition — led by Benny Gantz and the Blue and White party — today managed to get a majority to vote to approve the committee.
  • Members from Netanyahu's Likud Party were shocked to find themselves in the minority for the first time in 11 years.
  • What to watch: Blue and White’s goal is to strip Netanyahu of immunity within weeks so that his trial might start before the March 2 elections.

2. On the left...

  • Two left-wing parties, Labor and Meretz, announced today that they will join forces for the election, running on one list.
  • Why it matters: Both parties were in danger of falling below the electoral threshold, potentially shrinking Gantz's center-left bloc and making it harder for him to replace Netanyahu.

3. On the right...

  • The two parties to the right of Likud, the New Right and Jewish Home, announced today they will not run together on one list.
  • Why it matters: Those parties are also in danger of falling short of the threshold, and if either does that would be a big blow to Netanyahu's right-wing bloc.

Go deeper: Gantz says release of U.S. peace plan before Israel's elections would be "interference"

Go deeper

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Protesters outside Supreme Court. Photo: Daniel Slim/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Monday denied a request from Pennsylvania's Republican Party to shorten the deadlines for mail-in ballots in the state. Thanks to the court's 4-4 deadlock, ballots can be counted for several days after Election Day.

Why it matters: It's a major win for Democrats that could decide the fate of thousands of ballots in a crucial swing state that President Trump won in 2016. The court's decision may signal how it would deal with similar election-related litigation in other states.

Microphones will be muted during parts of Thursday's presidential debate

Photos: Jim Watson and Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Commission on Presidential Debates adopted new rules on Monday to mute microphones to allow President Trump and Joe Biden two minutes of uninterrupted time per segment during Thursday night's debate, AP reports.

Why it matters: In the September debate, Trump interrupted Biden 71 times, compared with Biden's 22 interruptions of Trump.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

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Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

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  3. States: Wisconsin judge reimposes capacity limit on indoor venues.
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