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Photo: Zahim Mohd/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama on Monday endorsed 118 candidates running for office in November, including 52 campaigning for the House and Senate.

Why it matters: Obama consistently rates as one of the Democratic Party's most popular figures and is starting to campaign more aggressively after staying on the sidelines for much of the primary season. His first wave of endorsements is aimed at keeping the Democratic majority in the House and winning back the Senate, in addition to shaping state offices ahead of this year's redistricting.

What he's saying:

"Together, these candidates will help us redeem our country’s promise by sticking up for working class people, restoring fairness and opportunity to our system, and fighting for the good of all Americans — not just those at the top. They make me optimistic not just about our party’s chances in November, but about our country’s future long after that."
— Barack Obama in a Medium post

Details: Obama's endorsements include Democratic challengers running for the Senate against Republican incumbents in Colorado, Iowa, Maine, North Carolina and South Carolina.

  • He also heavily targeted Texas, which could be a presidential swing state in November, with a total of 27 endorsements in national and state House races.
  • Obama is so far not endorsing Senate candidates in more conservative states like Montana, Kentucky and Georgia, the New York Times notes.

What to watch: A second set of endorsements is planned for states whose primaries have yet to be held.

Go deeper: The blue wave keeps growing

Go deeper

Cook Political Report moves Texas to "toss up" in presidential race

Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Cook Political Report moved Texas from "lean Republican" to "toss up" for the 2020 presidential race on Wednesday.

Why it matters: Texas, which has 38 electoral votes, hasn't backed a Democrat for president since 1976. A win for Biden in the historically red state would likely be a knockout blow against Trump.

7 mins ago - Podcasts

How hospitals are prepping for the new COVID-19 surge

Coronavirus cases and hospitalizations are surging, particularly in areas that had been largely spared this spring. One big question now is whether hospitals are better prepared for this new wave, including if they'll be able to continue providing elective services.

Axios Re:Cap digs into what hospitals have, and what they still need, with Lloyd Dean, CEO of CommonSpirit Health, one of America's largest operators of hospitals and health clinics.

Updated 15 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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  4. Education: Surge threatens to shut classrooms down again.
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  8. 🎧Podcast: The vaccine race turns toward nationalism.