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Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The Cook Political Report shifted eight House seats toward Democrats — and projected that the party would expand its majority in the chamber by 10 to 15 seats — in the nonpartisan prognosticator's final 2020 forecast published Monday.

Why it matters: It highlights how President Trump's polling struggles at the top of the ticket are filtering down ballot, affecting Republicans across the country.

The state of the play: Three of the shifted seats are in Texas — and Cook expects at least one of them, the state's 24th congressional district, to flip to the Democrats this year.

Cook's moves:

  • Ark.-02 (Republican incumbent): Lean Republican to toss-up.
  • N.J.-03 (Democratic incumbent): Lean Democratic to likely Democratic.
  • N.J.-05 (Democratic incumbent): Likely Democratic to solid Democratic.
  • N.Y.-18 (Democratic incumbent): Likely Democratic to solid Democratic.
  • Penn.-17 (Democratic incumbent): Lean democratic to likely Democratic.
  • Texas-10 (Republican incumbent): Lean Republican to toss-up.
  • Texas-24 (Republican incumbent): Toss-up to lean Democratic.
  • Texas-31 (Republican incumbent): Likely Republican to lean Republican.

The bottom line: "A combination of [Trump's] unpopularity in the suburbs, a fundraising disadvantage, and 32 open seats for the GOP to defend (to Democrats' dozen) has weighed down Republicans' prospects," writes Cook House editor Dave Wasserman.

Go deeper

The Mischief Makers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Several Republican and Democratic lawmakers are emerging as troublemakers within their parties and political thorns for their leadership.

Why it matters: We're calling this group "The Mischief Makers" — members who threaten to upend party unity — the theme eclipsing Washington at the moment — and potentially jeopardize the Democrats' or Republicans' position heading into the 2022 midterms.

2 hours ago - Health

Prior coronavirus infections may not protect well against Omicron

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

New data from South Africa suggests the Omicron variant spreads more than twice as quickly as the Delta variant, and that immunity from prior infection doesn't appear to protect a person very well against Omicron variant.

Why it matters: The findings are extremely preliminary, and there are still many open questions about how well vaccines work against the variant. But these initial breadcrumbs of data are helping the world begin to understand what it's up against.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
3 hours ago - Technology

AI could end foreign-language subtitles

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

AI companies are developing methods to translate and synthesize voices in ads, movies and TV.

Why it matters: The advances in voice synthesis could help fix bad movie dubbing — and they come as international content is becoming increasingly important to studios and streaming platforms as part of the globalization of entertainment.