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A 2020 selfie, in Pembroke Pines, Fla., on Tuesday. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

In private, some top Democrats remain nervous about the presidential race, despite Joe Biden's lead in swing state after swing state — and strength in states that had looked out of reach (including Georgia, Ohio and Iowa).

Why it matters: The ghost of 2016, when most "experts" looked foolish, haunts Democrats, who see a big win in their data, but fear being blindsided again.

Tom Edsall, who works the political science beat for New York Times Opinion, is up with a smart piece, "Biden Is Not Out of the Woods."

  • The most interesting data was a massive surge in registration for working-class whites.
  • Edsall quotes a Democratic strategist's privately circulated newsletter as reporting that white, non-college, over-30 registrations in battleground states had recently "increased by 10 points compared to September 2016, and the Democratic margin dropped 10 points to just six points."

Another key point: Pew Research Center polling shows what Edsall calls "a modest drop in the Democratic margin of support among Hispanic Catholics" and "modestly weakened support among Black women."

  • And, of course, operatives worry about hazards in properly returning mail-in ballots.

🐦 The bottom line ... Biden campaign manager Jen O'Malley Dillon tweeted last night: "[T]here is still a long way to go in this campaign, and we think this race is far closer than folks on this website think. Like a lot closer."

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Go deeper

Updated Jan 6, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Schumer declares Democratic majority in the Senate

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) declared on Wednesday that Democrats have gained control of the Senate, calling it a "brand new day" in Washington.

The state of play: The AP projected that Rev. Raphael Warnock has defeated Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R). Democrat Jon Ossoff is currently leading in the race against former Sen. David Perdue (R), but the contest is still too close to call.

Fintech's record year

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Massive venture rounds into fintech companies have ballooned this year, pushing up total dollars invested — in just the first three quarters of 2021 — to nearly double the amount in all of 2020, per new PitchBook data.

Why it matters: The maturing of fintech startups means a growing number of companies are able to raise huge later-stage funding rounds as investors look to lock-in their bets.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
1 hour ago - Energy & Environment

Democrats' clean power outlook is very muddy

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Here are two big questions as a key Democratic proposal to slash emissions from power generation flounders: how much its demise would sap climate protections, and what might replace it.

Catch up fast: New financial carrots and sticks for utilities to deploy zero-carbon power — the Clean Electricity Performance Program (CEPP) — look unlikely to stay in Democrats' big social spending and climate bill.