Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP

A surge of activism is rippling through California's political landscape, the L.A. Times's Melanie Mason writes in "Activist groundswell may sweep lawmakers leftward":

  • In a nutshell: In recent years, it was cool to be moderate in Sacramento. Now, it's cool to be progressive.
  • "What accounts for this magnetic pull leftward? An influx of new activists, energized by the 2016 election, have turned their focus to state-level politics. Advocacy groups, striving to offer a progressive seal of approval, are poring over legislators' voting records. And the prospect of single-payer healthcare in the state — the government would cover all residents' medical costs — offers a galvanizing rallying cry."
  • Why it matters: California is so massive (world's 6th largest economy, with 11 million more people than Texas) that its fashions are vital, and for decades (including the taxpayer revolt of 1978 that foreshadowed Reagan), it has started trends that marched east.
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SurveyMonkey poll: Trump improves, but not enough

Trump and Biden during the final debate. Photo: Xinhua/Liu Jie via Getty Images

President Trump's final debate performance exceeded Americans' expectations, but it wasn't enough to shift the dynamics that left him trailing Joe Biden across most measures, according to a new Axios-SurveyMonkey poll.

What they're saying: "Liar" was the word used most by debate watchers to describe Trump's performance, followed by "lies," "strong," "presidential" and "childish." "Presidential" was the word used most to describe Biden's performance, followed by "liar," "weak," "expected" and "honest."

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Data: NewsWhip; Table: Axios Visuals

The mainstream media turned away. But online, President Trump's charges about Hunter Biden were by far the dominant storyline about the final presidential debate, according to exclusive NewsWhip data provided to Axios.

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