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President Biden speaks about the authorization of the COVID vaccine for children ages 5 to 11. Photo: Drew Angerer via Getty Images

President Biden said Thursday that the Democratic Party needs to "produce for the American people" if it wants to avoid defeats like Tuesday's loss in Virginia.

Why it matters: Biden's recent dip in popularity — in part due to stalled legislation and the U.S.'s chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan — may have contributed to Republican Glenn Youngkin's election as Virginia's next governor, and other disappointing results in Tuesday's off-year elections.

What he's saying: "We all have an obligation to accept the legitimacy of these elections," Biden said when asked if he takes responsibility for Terry McAuliffe's (D) defeat.

  • Responding to questions after an address on the COVID vaccine for children ages 5 to 11, Biden said he was unsure whether he would've reached Trump voters if his agenda had passed earlier, but noted that "it should've passed before Election Day."
  • "People are upset and uncertain about a lot of things, from COVID to school to jobs ... and the cost of gasoline. And so if I'm able to sign into law my Build Back Better initiative, I'm in a position where you're going to see a lot of those things ameliorated quickly and swiftly."
  • "People want us to get things done," he added. "And that's why I'm continuing to push very hard for the Democratic Party to move along."

Our thought bubble, via Axios' Margaret Talev: President Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer can use the wake-up call to try to force a reset, starting with swift passage of a long-stalled $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure deal.

  • But the same GOP gains that narrowed Dems' margins or flipped advantages in some swing counties may make it that much harder to get some moderate Democrats on board with Biden's $1.75 trillion "Build Back Better" package, which aims to broadly expand the social safety net.

Go deeper... New GOP brand: Trump Lite

Go deeper

Nov 29, 2021 - Axios Des Moines

Many Iowans didn't return to vote after absentee ballots rejected

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

At least 206 people in Iowa's two largest counties didn't return to vote in this month's elections after their absentee ballot requests were rejected for missing the state's new deadline, according to data Axios obtained via public record requests.

  • That includes at least 95 voters in Polk County and 111 in Linn County.

Why it matters: Auditors from both counties said many of them could've had a ballot mailed and their vote counted if the law hadn't shortened the request window this year.

  • Results in several elections were razor-thin, so it's possible the votes could've made a difference in the final outcomes, Linn County Auditor Joel Miller said.

Biden administration makes first move on data privacy

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Biden administration is launching its first big effort on privacy policy by looking at how data privacy issues affect civil rights.

Why it matters: An administration perspective on privacy policy could be key in developing a long-awaited national privacy law by putting the White House stamp on how to regulate privacy.

Axios Investigates

Exclusive: Airbnb hosts Xinjiang rentals on land owned by sanctioned group

Data: Axios research, Airbnb, Australia Strategic Policy Institute's International Cyber Policy Centre; Map: Jacque Schrag/Axios

Airbnb has more than a dozen homes available for rent in China's Xinjiang region on land owned by an organization sanctioned by the U.S. government for complicity in genocide and forced labor, an Axios investigation has found.

Why it matters: The listings expose Airbnb to regulatory risk under U.S. law. They also land yet another American tech company in the crossfire between the U.S. and China.