Beto O'Rourke defended his 2% total in a new Iowa Democratic caucus poll on ABC's "This Week," arguing that if he relied on polls in any race he had run, he never would have served in Congress or taken on Sen. Ted Cruz in 2018.

"I don't know that this many months out from the caucuses in Iowa that these polls really indicate what our prospects are. If I relied on polls in any race that I've run, I never would have been able to serve in the United States Congress, we would never tried to take on Ted Cruz. ... These polls, this far out, I really don't think describe the full picture. We got a lot of time, a lot of work, but thankfully, we have a number of extraordinary volunteers who are going to make this possible."

Why it matters: The former Texas representative has been trending downward ever since he announced his candidacy for president, from 11% in December to 5% in March to 2% in Saturday night's poll. Last week, a Quinnipiac University poll found 60% of Texas Democrats would rather see O'Rourke challenge Republican John Cornyn for his Senate seat in 2020 than continue to run for president.

Go deeper: Beto O'Rourke on the issues, in under 500 words

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The COVID-19 learning cliff

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Perhaps the most jarring reality of the COVID-19 pandemic for families has been the sudden and dramatic disruption to all levels of education, which is expected to have deep social and economic repercussions for years — if not decades — to come.

Why it matters: As millions of students are about to start the school year virtually, at least in part, experts fear students may fall off an educational cliff — missing key academic milestones, falling behind grade level and in some cases dropping out of the educational system altogether.

Postal slowdown threatens election breakdown

In 24 hours, signs of a pre-election postal slowdown have moved from the shadows to the spotlight, with evidence emerging all over the country that this isn't a just a potential threat, but is happening before our eyes.

Why it matters: If you're the Trump administration, and you're in charge of the federal government, remember that a Pew poll published in April found the Postal Service was viewed favorably by 91% of Americans.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 21,280,608 — Total deaths: 767,422— Total recoveries: 13,290,879Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 5,335,398 — Total deaths: 168,903 — Total recoveries: 1,796,326 — Total tests: 65,676,624Map.
  3. Health: The coronavirus-connected heart ailment that could lead to sudden death in athletes — Patients grow more open with their health data during pandemic.
  4. States: New York to reopen gyms, bowling alleys, museums.
  5. Podcasts: The rise of learning podsSpecial ed under pressure — Not enough laptops — The loss of learning.