Democrat Conor Lamb edged out incumbent Republican Rick Saccone in a Pennsylvanie special election. Photo: Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Democrats lead Republicans by 10 points in voter preference for the midterm elections, according to a new NBC/WSJ poll. Of registered voters, 50% prefer a Democratic-controlled Congress, while 40% want a Republican one. That's a wider margin that the 49-43 lead Democrats held in the same poll in January.

The state of play: These results come as President Trump's approval rating has ticked upward. The same poll found that 43% of voters approve of his job performance, which is four points higher than his approval rating earlier this year.

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A quandary for state unemployment agencies

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

State agencies charged with paying unemployment benefits to jobless residents have their backs against the wall as they rush to parse President Trump's executive actions on coronavirus aid.

Why it matters: States are being asked to pitch in $100 per unemployed resident, but it’s a heavy lift for cash-strapped states that are still unclear about the details and may not opt-in at all. It leaves the states and jobless residents in a state of limbo.

Updated 19 mins ago - Health

New Zealand reports first local coronavirus cases for 102 days

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern after a press conference at Parliament on July 22 in Wellington, New Zealand. Photo: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

AUCKLAND, New Zealand — Auckland is locking down and the rest of New Zealand faces lesser restrictions for 72 hours after a family of four tested positive for COVID-19, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Tuesday.

Why it matters: It's the first cases not in managed isolation for 102 days, Ardern said at a news briefing.

31 mins ago - Science

The risk of branding NASA's wins

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

President Trump, like some of his predecessors, is branding NASA's recent wins as political, presidential accomplishments even though they are the result of efforts that span administrations.

Why it matters: Experts warn that partisan politicking with NASA can lead to whiplash that leaves the agency scrambling to chase new goals whenever a new administration arrives in Washington.