Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

National Democratic leaders and activist groups are deploying "unprecedented" resources in the hopes of flipping state legislative chambers in at least seven states in 2020, The Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: The groups intend to pour tens of millions of dollars into low-profile contests that will influence how the upcoming redistricting battle plays out, the Post writes. The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee has established a $50 million spending goal — five times more than the group allocated during the last round of redistricting in 2010.

Context: Historically, during presidential election years, Democrats have focused on pursuing the White House, giving Republicans an opening to take over statehouses.

The DLCC says it will focus on the state legislatures in Arizona, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Texas, Michigan and Minnesota.

The big picture: Many of the legislatures Democrats hope to flip are also key battleground states for the presidential election.

  • "That overlay is helping Democrats organize earlier than usual in those states, while energizing the party's national network of volunteers," Catherine Vaughan, a leader of Swing Left and Flippable, told the Post.
  • Democrats have taken 435 state legislative seats and nine governorships in the past three years, but Republicans still control the majority in 29 state legislatures, notes the Post.

Go deeper: The U.K. election's warning for U.S. Democrats in 2020

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 12,859,834 — Total deaths: 567,123 — Total recoveries — 7,062,085Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 3,297,501— Total deaths: 135,155 — Total recoveries: 1,006,326 — Total tested: 40,282,176Map.
  3. States: Florida smashes single-day record for new coronavirus cases with over 15,000 — NYC reports zero coronavirus deaths for first time since pandemic hit.
  4. Public health: Ex-FDA chief projects "apex" of South's coronavirus curve in 2-3 weeks — Coronavirus testing czar: Lockdowns in hotspots "should be on the table"
  5. Education: Betsy DeVos says schools that don't reopen shouldn't get federal funds — Pelosi accuses Trump of "messing with the health of our children."

Scoop: How the White House is trying to trap leakers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Trump's chief of staff, Mark Meadows, has told several White House staffers he's fed specific nuggets of information to suspected leakers to see if they pass them on to reporters — a trap that would confirm his suspicions. "Meadows told me he was doing that," said one former White House official. "I don't know if it ever worked."

Why it matters: This hunt for leakers has put some White House staffers on edge, with multiple officials telling Axios that Meadows has been unusually vocal about his tactics. So far, he's caught only one person, for a minor leak.

11 GOP congressional nominees support QAnon conspiracy

Lauren Boebert posing in her restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, on April 24. Photo: Emily Kask/AFP

At least 11 Republican congressional nominees have publicly supported or defended the QAnon conspiracy theory movement or some of its tenets — and more aligned with the movement may still find a way onto ballots this year.

Why it matters: Their progress shows how a fringe online forum built on unsubstantiated claims and flagged as a threat by the FBI is seeking a foothold in the U.S. political mainstream.