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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."

Subscribe to Axios AM/PM for a daily rundown of what's new and why it matters, directly from Mike Allen.
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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.

Dominion sends cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell

Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Dominion Voting Systems on Monday sent a cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell over his spread of misinformation related to the 2020 election.

Why it matters: Trump and several of his allies have pushed false conspiracy theories about the company, leading Dominion to take legal action. It's suing pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell for defamation and $1.3 billion in damages, and a Dominion employee has sued Trump himself, OANN and Newsmax.

Off the Rails

Episode 5: The secret CIA plan

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer, Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 5: Trump vs. Gina — The president becomes increasingly rash and devises a plan to tamper with the nation's intelligence command.

In his final weeks in office, after losing the election to Joe Biden, President Donald Trump embarked on a vengeful exit strategy that included a hasty and ill-thought-out plan to jam up CIA Director Gina Haspel by firing her top deputy and replacing him with a protege of Republican Congressman Devin Nunes.