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Source: Federal Election Commission; Chart: Harry Stevens/Axios

More Democratic congressional candidates have competed in the 2018 election cycle than either party attracted in any cycle since 1980, according to an Axios analysis of Federal Election Commission data.

Why it matters: The last time either party drew this many congressional candidates was in 2010, when Tea Party rallies and grassroots opposition to President Barack Obama brought a new generation of conservative Republicans to Congress.

By the numbers: 1,706 Democratic congressional candidates have spent or raised money during the current cycle. That breaks the previous record set in 2010, when 1,688 Republican congressional candidates registered with the FEC.

  • But the enthusiasm gap between parties was far larger in 2010. During that cycle, only 1,136 Democratic candidates ran for Congress, compared to 1,550 GOP candidates this time around.

The bottom line: The number of candidates in itself doesn't guarantee election victories. But it's one more sign of how motivated Democrats are this year, and that could lead to victories if it translates into high Democratic voter turnout.

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The pandemic real estate market

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

It's not just emotional buying, real estate agents say: There are smart and strategic reasons that Americans of all ages, races and incomes are moving away from urban centers.

Why it matters: Bidding wars, frantic plays for a big suburban house with a pool, buying a property sight unseen — they're all part of Americans' calculus that our lives and lifestyles have been permanently changed by coronavirus and that we'll need more space (indoors and out) for the long term.

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Coronavirus cases are falling, but don't get too comfortable

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America's coronavirus outbreak is slowing down after a summer of explosive growth.

By the numbers: The U.S. is averaging roughly 52,000 new cases per day — still a lot of cases, but about 10.5% fewer than it was averaging last week.

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We're doing a lot less coronavirus testing

Data: The COVID Tracking Project; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The U.S. is cutting back on coronavirus testing. Nationally, the number of tests performed each day is about 17% lower than it was at the end of July, and testing is also declining in hard-hit states.

Why it matters: This big reduction in testing has helped clear away delays that undermined the response to the pandemic. But doing fewer tests can also undermine the response to the pandemic.