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Shontel Brown campaigns with Rep. James Clyburn in Cleveland on July 31. Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

An upset in Ohio on Tuesday night is giving moderate, Biden-aligned Democrats momentum vs. the party's vocal left ahead of next year's midterms.

Driving the news: In a special primary for U.S. House in the Cleveland area, Cuyahoga County Council member Shontel Brown pulled out a surprise victory for the Democratic establishment in Cleveland.

  • The left's stars had come out for her leading opponent, progressive Nina Turner: Five days ago, Sen. Bernie Sanders campaigned in Akron. Ten days ago, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez stumped in Cleveland.

Why it matters: Brown, far behind Turner in polls and money, stayed positive and tied her fate to President Biden. In the end, Brown drew 50% to Nina Turner's 45%.

  • Matt Bennett of the centrist Third Way said: "Once again, the pundits and the Twitterverse got it wrong, and Democratic voters picked the moderate ... over the candidate ordained by the far left."

Between the lines: Brown's most successful ads — made by SKDK, which had a team on the ground — tied her to Biden.

  • House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.), who helped Biden win the 2020 Democratic primary, backed Brown.
  • The Congressional Black Caucus PAC also endorsed her.

🥊 In another special in Ohio last night ... Trump-backed coal lobbyist Mike Carey won a crowded GOP primary in the race to replace former U.S. Rep. Steve Stivers, a Republican. (Columbus Dispatch)

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Go deeper

New label for moderate Democrats: "Normal"

Rep. Conor Lamb. Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Listen and you'll hear moderate Democrats using a new label for their own brand of politics: "Normal."

Why it matters: It's a coded, loaded word exacerbating their divide with liberal colleagues. It's also a way, in the face of the dismal election trends, to distinguish themselves from activist colleagues they're implying are abnormal and don't speak for them.

Sarah Palin tests positive for COVID, delaying defamation trial

Sarah Palin. Photo: Matthew Staver/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday, delaying the start of her defamation trial against the New York Times.

Why it matters: The trial will be closely watched, as it's a rare instance of a major media company defending its editorial practices before an American jury.

S&P 500 slides into correction territory

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Stocks suffered their worst drop of the year, pushing the S&P 500 on track to fall into a "correction."

Driving the news: The benchmark S&P 500 dropped for its fifth straight day, with losses nearing 3% in early trading.