Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sen. Kamala Harris during Wednesday's vice presidential debate. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Several Michigan voters who are sticking with President Trump think that if Joe Biden gets elected, Sen. Kamala Harris will be running the show — and her Wednesday debate performance reinforced their view.

Why it matters: These are some of the few voters for whom the vice-presidential pick has outsized importance in how they view the two tickets, and for now that's benefitting Trump.

This was the biggest takeaway from our special post-vice presidential debate Engagious/Schlesinger focus group with 13 voters who chose Barack Obama in 2012 but Trump in 2016.

  • Two of them will vote for Biden, both because of the coronavirus pandemic and the economy.
  • While a focus group is not a statistically significant sample like a poll, the responses show how some voters are thinking and talking about the 2020 election in crucial states.
  • Biden leads Trump by about 6 percentage points in Michigan in the RealClearPolitics polling average.

What they’re saying: “Biden’s not going to make it four years, so Kamala Harris is going to be president and I have zero trust she can be president, so I’m just picking the lesser of two evils at this point,” said Shelley D. Everyone else in the group agreed.

  • And while some even liked what Harris had to say at the debate, they remain skeptical of change. “I’m going to have to stick with [Trump] because I don't know if the Left will make due on the promises they’re saying right now,” said Adam M.
  • Others described feeling “scared” because Harris “actually did a better job than Pence,” as one participant put it.

Between the lines: These voters thought Harris did too well at the debate, with many saying they’re now fearful she’ll boost Biden’s chances to win because of how she connects with the American people.

  • “I’m fearful of this woman because she knows how to strike chords with the people of America,” said Matt T. “She’s basically utilizing everything that has happened this year to attack the Trump campaign and she does it in such a way that she’s making really strong points, but I don’t think they’re true. So she’s coming across very powerful.”
  • Some mocked her hand gestures, but most thought she appeared more prepared for the debate than Pence.
  • Several Trump voters described Pence’s debate performance as lacking “energy” and “emotion,” and they were largely frustrated that he didn’t answer most of the questions asked.
  • Guy D., who’s voting to re-elect President Trump, said he felt “a little disappointed” watching Pence Wednesday night “because it seemed like he didn’t get to the point.”

Go deeper

Kudlow says he's "very disappointed" in Trump's treatment of Pence

Larry Kudlow. Photo: Alex Wong via Getty

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow criticized President Trump’s response to last week's U.S. Capitol siege and his treatment of Vice President Mike Pence in the aftermath of the 2020 election, in an interview with The Wall Street Journal on Friday.

The big picture: Trump has lost support from a number of top aides and allies since a mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol building on Jan. 6, resulting in five deaths. Kudlow is the latest to publicly speak out against the president.

Off the Rails

A premeditated lie lit the fire

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

"Jared, you call the Murdochs! Jason, you call Sammon and Hemmer!”

President Trump was almost shouting. He directed his son-in-law and his senior strategist from his private quarters at the White House late on election night. He barked out the names of top Fox News executives and talent he expected to answer to him.

Jan 16, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Pew: Biden to start presidency with strong performance ratings

Joe Biden. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Joe Biden will start his presidency next week with relatively strong performance ratings, according to a Pew Research Center survey.

On the other hand: President Trump will leave the the White House with his lowest approval rating ever.