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The Cook Political Report on Wednesday updated its Electoral College forecast to give Joe Biden a decisive edge in the presidential contest, suggesting that November could bring more of "a Democratic tsunami than simply a blue wave."

Why it matters: Cook's forecast, which says 279 electoral votes are at least leaning toward the former vice president, ponders that Trump may be "close to the point of no return," with some analysts the group spoke to wondering if the president now faces "a permanent loss of trust and faith of the majority of voters."

Cook's latest moves:

  • Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Nebraska’s 2nd congressional district went from "toss up" to "lean Democrat." It similarly moved Michigan, a center of Trump's white, working-class base, to "lean Democrat" last month.
  • Maine moved from "lean Democrat" to "likely Democrat." And its 2nd congressional district, which grants its electoral vote separately, moved from "likely Republican" to "lean Republican."
  • Georgia moved from "lean Republican" to "toss up."

Worth noting: It's only July — and Cook says as much — but Trump has recently dug in with his law-and-order approach that caters to his base.

  • It also notes the uncertainty surrounding the actual act of voting in November amid the coronavirus pandemic, as the president continues to push against the idea of mail-in voting with unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud.

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Updated Aug 5, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Primary races to watch in Arizona, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Washington

Photo: Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images

Primary elections on Tuesday in fives states see crowded fields of both Republicans and Democrats hoping to make the ballot in 2020.

What to watch: Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) is "fighting for her political life" in a tight primary race against Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones, who Tlaib beat by 900 votes in 2018, The New York Times writes. Senate Republicans are also watching the primary race in Kansas to see who could replace retiring Republican Sen. Pat Roberts.

Elliott Abrams to replace Brian Hook as Trump's Iran envoy

Brian Hook. Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Image

President Trump's Iran envoy, Brian Hook, is stepping down and will be replaced by Elliott Abrams, a noted Iran hawk who currently serves as Trump's envoy for Venezuela, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed Thursday. Abrams will continue to serve in his role as Venezuela envoy.

Why it matters: Hook had been tasked with executing Trump's "maximum pressure" policy toward Iran, working closely with Pompeo. That strategy has deepened tensions and thus far failed to force Iran back to the negotiating table, as Trump had hoped.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine tests positive for coronavirus ahead of Trump visit

Photo: Justin Merriman/Getty Images

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) has tested positive for COVID-19 and plans to quarantine at his home for the next 14 days, his office announced Thursday. He currently has no symptoms.

Why it matters: The 73-year-old DeWine was set to meet President Trump Thursday on the tarmac at an airport in Cleveland and was tested as part of standard protocol. He is the second governor known to have contracted the coronavirus, after Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R).