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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.

Go deeper

Parties trade election influence accusations at Big Tech hearing

Photo: Michael Reynolds/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

A Senate hearing Wednesday with Big Tech CEOs became the backdrop for Democrats and Republicans to swap accusations of inappropriate electioneering.

Why it matters: Once staid tech policy debates are quickly becoming a major focal point of American culture and political wars, as both parties fret about the impact of massive social networks being the new public square.

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Germany goes back into lockdown

Photo: Fabrizio Bensch/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will enact one of Europe's strictest coronavirus lockdowns since spring, closing bars and restaurants nationwide for most of November, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: Germany is the latest European country to reimpose some form of lockdown measures amid a surge in cases across the continent.

How overhyping became an election meddling tool

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

As online platforms and intelligence officials get more sophisticated about detecting and stamping out election meddling campaigns, bad actors are increasingly seeing the appeal of instead exaggerating their own interference capabilities to shake Americans' confidence in democracy.

Why it matters: It doesn't take a sophisticated operation to sow seeds of doubt in an already fractious and factionalized U.S. Russia proved that in 2016, and fresh schemes aimed at the 2020 election may already be proving it anew.