Aug 21, 2017

Health care effort hurt McConnell, poll shows

(J. Scott Applewhite / AP)

A new poll by left-leaning Public Policy Polling shows Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is deeply unpopular in Kentucky, and the failed health care effort only made things worse.

Here's what the poll found:

  • 74 percent of Kentuckians disapprove of McConnell's job performance, while only 18 percent approve.
  • 44 percent said they'd vote for a generic Democrat over McConnell, with only 37 percent saying they'd re-elect him. 50 percent said they'd vote for Rand Paul, the other senator from Kentucky, over a generic Democrat.
  • Only 27 percent of Kentuckians approved of the GOP health care bill. 49 percent said McConnell's support of the health care bill made them less likely to vote for him again. Only 38 percent said the same of Paul.

Trend: PPP has previously found that their health care vote hurt GOP Sens. Dean Heller, Jeff Flake, Cory Gardner and Bob Corker.

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Sign of the times: A pro-Warren super PAC

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren at a rally in Nevada. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

A group of women progressives who back Sen. Elizabeth Warren has formed Persist PAC, a super PAC airing pro-Warren ads starting Wednesday in an effort to boost her performance ahead of Saturday's crucial Nevada caucuses, a spokesman told Axios.

Why it matters: Warren has spoken adamantly against the influence of unlimited spending and dark money in politics. But these supporters have concluded that before Warren can reform the system, she must win under the rules that exist — and that whether she likes it or not, their uncoordinated help may be needed to keep her viable through this weekend's contest and into South Carolina and Super Tuesday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Pentagon policy chief resigns amid reported discord with Trump

John Rood. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

John Rood, the Pentagon's top policy official, will resign from his post at the end of the month, CNN first reported and President Trump confirmed.

The state of play: CNN said Rood "was perceived as not embracing some of the changes in policy the White House and senior Pentagon officials wanted," such as peace talks in Afghanistan with the Taliban and a decision to cut back on military exercises with South Korea as the president courted North Korea's Kim Jong-un.

Coronavirus cases rise, as warnings of global pandemic grow

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's NHC; Note: China refers to mainland China and the Diamond Princess is the cruise ship offshore Yokohama, Japan. Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

We may be "at the brink" of a global pandemic, warns a top U.S. public health official, as cases continue to spread despite containment efforts. Meanwhile, the global economy is being affected, including the tech manufacturing industry.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,000 people and infected over 75,000 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 136 new deaths since Tuesday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health