Trump supporters and a Jon Tester supporter at a Trump rally in Montana. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

There's been more speculation in recent weeks that a Democratic-controlled Senate after the midterms isn't out of the question. But Republicans may be able to use the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation fight against the Democratic senators in states President Trump won in 2016.

Why it matters: The Supreme Court battle has become a headache for both sides. Republicans are not backing down from trying to get him through even after the sexual assault allegations. And now red-state Democrats are facing their wrath, as Republicans gamble that Dems' opposition to Kavanaugh will hurt them more than it helps.

What they're saying: After Indiana Sen. Joe Donnelly announced his decision to vote against Kavanaugh, the anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List visited "more than 345,000 Indiana voters’ homes to educate them on Sen. Donnelly’s record," per WashPost. They called it "a profound betrayal" and predicted that Indiana voters "will remember this at the ballot box in November."

  • Missouri: Sen. Claire McCaskill's opponent Josh Hawley tweeted: "Dems & [McCaskill] orchestrated a smear campaign to delay the vote long enough for Dems to seize control. This was never about Kavanaugh. It was about undoing 2016 election and getting power."
  • Montana: Sen. Jon Tester is getting heat from the Republican National Committee:

The big picture: The Kavanaugh fight is one reason David Wasserman of the Cook Political Report is skeptical that Democrats have a shot at the Senate. "I'm not necessarily buying it," he emailed. "Keep in mind, Kavanaugh is still viewed highly favorably in those states and GOP anger/engagement there could rise."

The bottom line: The longer Kavanaugh's confirmation is dragged out, the more certain we can be that it will affect some of the most competitive Senate races.

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Trump commutes Roger Stone's sentence

Roger Stone arriving at his sentencing hearing on Feb. 20. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Trump on Friday evening commuted the sentence of his longtime associate Roger Stone, according to two senior administration officials. Stone in February was sentenced to 40 months in prison for crimes including obstruction, witness tampering and making false statements to Congress.

Why it matters: The controversial move brings an abrupt end to the possibility of Stone spending time behind bars. He had been scheduled to report to prison on July 14.

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Which states have set single-day coronavirus records this week

Data: COVID Tracking Project and state health department data compiled by Axios; Map: Danielle Alberti and Naema Ahmed/Axios

13 states this week surpassed records set just last week for their highest number of coronavirus infections in a single day, according to the COVID Tracking Project and state health department data. 16 states in total reported new highs.

The big picture: The United States' alarming rise in coronavirus cases isn't just due to increased testing — particularly where the number of cases has grown fastest over the last month, Axios' Andrew Witherspoon and Caitlin Owens report.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 6:30 p.m. ET: 12,389,660 — Total deaths: 557,279 — Total recoveries — 6,830,596Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6:30 p.m. ET: 3,169,611 — Total deaths: 133,885 — Total recoveries: 983,185 — Total tested: 38,856,341Map.
  3. Public health: The reality of the coronavirus bites.
  4. Trade: Trump says he's no longer considering phase-two trade deal with China because the pandemic damaged the two countries' relationship.
  5. 🎧 Podcast: Rural America has its own coronavirus problem.