People are getting more of their news online, but not local news. Photo: Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Americans across the country are steadily losing interest in their local politics, instead focusing on national politics, largely because of our changing media habits, writes Dan Hopkins for FiveThirtyEight.

Why it matters: People's daily lives are affected by political decisions at the local level far more than at the national level. "In November, voters will weigh in on 36 gubernatorial elections and more than 6,000 state legislative seats," Hopkins writes. "In doing so, they will shape public policy on a range of issues, from health care and gun control to marijuana and education."

Yes, but: "Many of the voters who do show up to cast ballots for local races will likely do so with an eye toward national politics, and other citizens will sit the elections out entirely."

By the numbers: In 1990, more than 75% of Americans were watching local TV news — that fell below 50% by 2014. A similar trend occurred in those who are regular newspaper readers, from more than 70% in 1990 to the high 50s.

  • The number for those who get their news online tripled in that same time period, FiveThirtyEight reports. "[T]he shift to online news has meant a shift away from local content, too. Americans are moving away from media outlets that are likely to have some state and local coverage and toward those that do not."

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In photos: Deadly wildfires devastate California's wine country

The Shady Fire ravages a home as it approaches Santa Rosa in Napa County, California, on Sept. 28. The blaze is part of the massive Glass Fire Complex, which has razed 46,600 acres at 2% containment. Photo: Samuel Corum/Agence France-Presse/AFP via Getty Images

Some 18,700 firefighters are battling 27 major blazes across California, including in the heart of the wine country, where one mega-blaze claimed the lives of three people and forced thousands of others to evacuate this week.

The big picture: 8,155 wildfires have burned across a record 3.86 million acres, killing 26 people and razing almost 7,900 structures in California this year, per Cal Fire. Just like the deadly blazes of 2017, the wine country has become a wildfires epicenter. Gov. Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency in Napa, Sonoma, and Shasta counties.

Mike Allen, author of AM
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The first Trump v. Biden presidential debate was a hot mess

Photos: Jim Watson and Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

This debate was like the country: Everybody’s talking. Nobody’s listening. Nothing is learned. It’s a mess.

  • We were told President Trump would be savage. Turned out, that was a gross understatement. Even the moderator, Fox News' Chris Wallace, got bulldozed.

Why it matters: Honestly, who the hell knows?