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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on July 21. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Cook Political Report on Thursday moved its outlook to a net gain of five to seven Senate seats for Democrats, and now says Democrats are slightly favored to win the Senate majority. 

Why it matters: Cook currently forecasts that President Trump's troubles could affect Republicans down the ballot, calling the incumbent president the "decided underdog against former Vice President Joe Biden."

The state of play: Democrats must win at least four Senate seats to claim the majority.

  • Cook moved the race in Arizona between Sen. Martha McSally (R) and former astronaut Mark Kelly (D) from "toss up" to leaning Democratic in its July rating.
  • It also moved the races in Iowa between Sen. Joni Ernst (R) and Theresa Greenfield (D) and Georgia between Sen. David Perdue and Jon Ossoff from leaning Republican to toss-ups.
  • It moved Minnesota's and New Mexico's races from likely Democratic to solidly Democratic.

The big picture: Cook also shifted its outlook for 20 House races toward Democrats last week, signaling that Democrats stand to widen their lead in the House.

  • Republicans need to pick up 18 seats to win the House back in 2020, but polling is firmly moving against that hope.
  • Meanwhile, Trump is trailing Biden in multiple state polls less than four months before November's election.

Go deeper: Poll shows Biden beating Trump by 13 points in Florida

Go deeper

Kamala Harris, the new left's insider

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Joe Buglewicz/Getty Images     

Progressive leaders see Sen. Kamala Harris, if she's elected vice president, as their conduit to a post-Biden Democratic Party where the power will be in younger, more diverse and more liberal hands.

  • Why it matters: The party's rising left sees Harris as the best hope for penetrating Joe Biden's older, largely white inner circle.

If Biden wins, Harris will become the first woman, first Black American and first Indian American to serve as a U.S. vice president — and would instantly be seen as the first in line for the presidency should Biden decide against seeking a second term.

Texas early voting surpasses 2016's total turnout

Early voting in Austin earlier this month. Photo: Sergio Flores/Getty Images

Texas' early and mail-in voting totals for the 2020 election have surpassed the state's total voter turnout in 2016, with 9,009,850 ballots already cast compared to 8,969,226 in the last presidential cycle.

Why it matters: The state's 38 Electoral College votes are in play — and could deliver a knockout blow for Joe Biden over President Trump — despite the fact that it hasn't backed a Democrat for president since 1976.

Report: "Clear evidence" China is committing genocide against Uyghurs

The scene in 2019 of a site believed to be a re-education camp where mostly Muslim ethnic minorities are detained, north of Kashgar in China's northwestern Xinjiang region. Photo: Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images

Chinese authorities have breached "each and every act prohibited" under the UN Genocide Convention over the treatment of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in China's Xinjiang province, an independent report published Tuesday alleges.

Why it matters: D.C. think-tank the Newlines Institute for Strategy and Policy, which released the report, said in a statement the conclusions by dozens of experts in war crimes, human rights and international law are "clear and convincing": The ruling Chinese Communist Party bears responsibility.