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Photo: Evan Vucci / AP

The White House has decided Democrats' sweeping wins against Republicans last night was no big feat and that it was, in part, Ed Gillespie's fault, according to talking points sent from a senior White House official to their communications team.

"Gillespie's wavering support for the President resulted in depressed turnout among Republicans," the email read. "If the Gillespie campaign embraced the President anywhere, it was in SW Virginia. And, look what happened: SW Virginia significantly over-performed for Republicans relative to 2013."

More from the White House talking points obtained by Axios:

  • Tax reform is the continued focus. Mayor John Curtis won the House seat formerly held by Jason Chaffetz, which the White House argues will give Republicans "another vote for tax reform — and that vote in Congress is what matters most."
  • As for the 14 Democrats who won House Delegates seats in Virginia, the White House says that's just history repeating itself. "Look at the eerie similarities between the outcomes of these states' elections in 2009 (Obama first term) and 2017 (Trump first term) - the opposite party makes gains."
  • "History was always against Republicans in two states that have not voted for a Republican Presidential nominee since 2004 and 1988, respectively," the email read, referring to Virginia and New Jersey.

Go deeper: Meet the new generation of Democrats that emerged one year after Trump.

Go deeper

Why made-for-TV moments matter during the pandemic

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Erin Schaff-Pool, Biden Inaugural Committee via Getty Images

In a world where most Americans are isolated and forced to laugh, cry and mourn without friends or family by their side, viral moments can offer critical opportunities to unite the country or divide it.

Driving the news: President Biden's inauguration was produced to create several made-for-social viral moments, a tactic similar to what the Democratic National Committee and the Biden campaign pulled off during the Democratic National Convention.

Updated 6 hours ago - World

Over 3,000 detained in protests across Russia demanding Navalny's release

Russian police officers beat protestesters at a rally against of jailing of oppositon leader Alexei Navalny in Moscow on Saturday. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Police in Russia on Saturday arrested more than 3,300 people as protesters nationwide demanded that opposition leader Alexey Navalny be released from jail.

Details: Demonstrations began in the eastern regions of Russia and spread west to more than 60 cities.

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Arizona Republicans censure Cindy McCain and GOP governor

Combination images of Cindy McCain and Gov. Doug Ducey. Photo: FilmMagic/FilmMagic for U.S.VETS/Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Arizona Republican Party members voted on Saturday to censure prominent GOP figures Cindy McCain, Gov. Doug Ducey and former Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who've all faced clashes with former President Trump.

Why it matters: Although the resolution is symbolic, this move plus the re-election of the Trump-endorsed Kelli Ward as state GOP chair shows the strong hold the former president has on the party in Arizona, despite President Biden winning the state in the 2020 election.