Both parties are making on-the-fly changes to their messages in the heat of midterm campaigning, because their go-to issues turn out to have problems.
After reading Axios AM yesterday, where we revealed that Rudy Giuliani's constant TV appearances are using the Mueller investigation to fuel the Republican base's rage, Matt Bennett of the center-left Third Way emailed:
"I can’t think of a recent election cycle in which both parties thought (or still think) they had killer issues to run on and both are totally wrong. Democrats can’t run on Russia/Mueller [because it motivates Republicans more than it does Democrats], and Republicans can’t run on the tax cuts because, among other things, Trump used his outside voice to say they’re for the rich."
Some Democrats salivated about running on impeachment, until their leaders convinced them that would backfire. And the party's "Abolish ICE" boomlet, fueled by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York, was co-opted by Republicans who now talk up their support for immigration agents.
Republicans planned to make the Trump tax cut the centerpiece of the fall. But that didn't even last through March, since the tax cuts don't have the broad popularity the party expected.
One other game change you should be aware of ... "Democrats running for Congress in 2018 are pushing a muscular gun-control agenda that represents a wholesale repositioning on the hot-button issue," The Wall Street Journal's Reid Epstein writes (subscription).
"While Mr. Trump has a large and resilient base of supporters, a sizable share had reservations when they cast their ballots for him and continue to have reservations," the N.Y. Times Upshot's Nate Cohn and Alicia Parlapiano write, using data from Pew’s American Trends Panel:
"This summer of fire and swelter looks a lot like the future that scientists have been warning about in the era of climate change," Somini Sengupta writes in the N.Y. Times lead story, "The Year Global Warming Made Its Menace a Reality."
Members of Congress can serve on corporate boards ... "The indictment of Rep. Chris Collins on insider trading charges is drawing new attention to the freedom members of Congress have to serve on corporate boards or to buy and sell stock in industries they're responsible for overseeing," AP's Richard Lardner writes:
"The thinking behind this exception, which doesn't extend to top-level executive branch officials, is to ensure that lawmakers aren't prevented from accepting positions on the boards of charities or other philanthropic organizations, according to Craig Holman of the nonpartisan advocacy group Public Citizen."
What's next: "Two New York lawmakers, Democrat Kathleen Rice and Republican Tom Reed, announced [yesterday] they plan to introduce legislation that would update House rules to prohibit members from serving on the boards of publicly held companies."
WashPost columnist David Ignatius writes that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo "seems to be keeping his own swagger in check at State," a formula for succeeding with President Trump:
Sentence of the day: "Being chief diplomat for the most undiplomatic president in modern history can’t be easy."
Susan Glasser, a staff writer at The New Yorker who writes a weekly column on life in Trump’s Washington, visits the Manafort trial at the federal courthouse in Alexandria, Va.:
"While Democrats grow optimistic about their chances of taking control of the House in November, they are increasingly anxious that the presence of their longtime and polarizing leader, Nancy Pelosi, is making it harder for many of their candidates to compete in crucial swing districts," the WashPost's Mike DeBonis writes in the paper's lead story:
Be smart: For all the talk (and there's plenty), if House Dems win a big majority, it'll be on a wave of women candidates and voters. That would make it very difficult to deny Pelosi the speakership, regardless of younger members' wishes.
Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.), a Tea Partier whose insurgent candidacy upset House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a Republican primary in 2014, now faces an uprising led by women, the N.Y. Times' Mike Tackett writes from Midlothian, Va.:
"Today’s tax systems are not only marred by the bewildering complexity and loopholes that have always afflicted taxation; they are also outdated," The Economist writes in its lead editorial:
"Move Over Millennials, It’s Gen Z’s Turn to Kill Industries: Malls, print magazines and even football could be in mortal danger," Bloomberg's Riley Griffin writes:
They're already killing cash: "[M]oney-transferring apps — such as Venmo, Google Pay and Apple Wallet — are seeing continued growth."
Thanks for reading. See you all day — and all weekend — on Axios.com.