Happy Wednesday! Axios AM brings you what matters, in Smart Brevity. (Today: 1,136 words ... < 5 minutes!)
🏒 Situational awareness: Boston Bruins, St. Louis Blues to meet in Stanley Cup final.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
2020 voter turnout could be the highest in a century, based on Democrats' enthusiasm in the midterms and the big, early 2020 field, Axios' Alexi McCammond writes.
Why it matters: That would mean a tougher re-election path for President Trump.
Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia said: "The safest prediction in politics is for a giant turnout in 2020. ... Let’s hope the polling places can accommodate the crowds."
Between the lines: McDonald is basing his prediction of a "hundred-year storm" on the 2018 midterms, which had the highest off-year election turnout in more than a century (50%). He says that momentum will only get stronger.
The Trump campaign isn't buying it. "Predicting turnout this far in advance of an election is a fool’s errand," said national press secretary Kayleigh McEnany.
A growing number of rank-and-file House Democrats are confronting Speaker Nancy Pelosi and pushing her and other leaders to begin impeachment proceedings against President Trump, AP reports.
Why it matters, via N.Y. Times: Democrats fear Trump is succeeding not only in evading accountability himself, "but also in permanently rewriting the rules of engagement between the legislative and executive branches."
Go deeper ... Where key Democrats stand on impeachment: Axios rounds up their tweets, quotes and statements.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
⚡Breaking I: "Xi Jinping says China is embarking on a 'new Long March,' signaling no end to trade war soon." (CNBC)
⚡Breaking II: The Trump administration is considering limiting the ability of Hikvision, a Chinese video surveillance giant, to buy American technology, per N.Y. Times.
The big picture: A continued trade impasse will likely mean lots of pain on both sides of the Pacific, Axios' chief tech correspondent Ina Fried writes.
Republican sources tell Axios' Jonathan Swan that after a season of pessimism, they see brighter signs for ratification of a new U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade pact.
President Trump meets this morning with Speaker Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, and sent a letter ahead saying:
First look: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce backs infrastructure with a data analysis showing states are raising the gas tax and not being punished by voters.
A homeless man sits outside S.F.'s AT&T Park. Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images
"In a time of scarce consensus, everyone agrees that something has rotted in San Francisco," writes Karen Heller in a Washington Post talker.
"'This is unregulated capitalism, unbridled capitalism, capitalism run amok. There are no guardrails,' says Salesforce founder and chairman Marc Benioff, a fourth-generation San Franciscan."
Tomorrow, in a surprise turn, John Walker Lindh — the "American Taliban" — is scheduled to leave federal prison in Terre Haute, Ind., three years early.
Developed countries, especially the U.S. and Japan, showed little to no pickup in hiring women for top positions last year. Emerging economies did much better, Axios Markets editor Dion Rabouin reports.
💰 A bright spot: This year's FORTUNE 500, released last week, had 33 women CEOs — the most ever, up from 24 in 2017.
"As California prepares for what some officials fear will be another devastating fire season, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Forest Service are withholding reimbursements that state fire agencies say are owed for battling wildfires on federal lands last year," the L.A. Times reports.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell today will take to social media to push his bipartisan bill — which he released Monday and called one of his "highest priorities" — to raise the minimum age for buying tobacco products from 18 to 21.
Mexico City commuters have come up with a way to avoid common armed robberies on city buses: "Many are buying fake cellphones, to hand over to thieves instead of their real smartphones," writes AP's Mark Stevenson.
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