Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

The issue:

President Obama was masterful in building his power and brand, not only winning back-to-back elections but doing so with the two highest vote totals in US history. But his eight years were a disaster for the Democratic Party.

The facts:
  • Since Obama's election, Democrats have lost 62 House seats and 9 Senate seats.
  • As a result, Trump enters office with full control of Congress and the ability to tilt the Supreme Court conservative for years to come.
  • It's worse at the state level: there are 12 fewer states with Democratic governors and as many as 900 fewer Democrats holding state-level offices.
  • Republicans now control 68 out of 98 partisan legislative chambers in the country — an all-time high.
What's next:

This might not be rock bottom for Democrats. In 2018, of the 33 Senate seats up for re-election, 23 are presently held by Democrats, and many of them in Trump Country.

Go deeper

Appeals court allows House Democrats to continue lawsuit for Don McGahn testimony

Don McGahn in an October 2018 Cabinet meeting. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

A D.C. appeals court on Friday allowed House Democrats to continue their case for testimony from former White House counsel Don McGahn before the House Judiciary Committee.

Why it matters: McGahn was one of the most important witnesses in Robert Mueller's investigation. He appears on 66 pages of the Mueller report and played a central role in some of its juiciest revelations, including the fact that President Trump once asked him to fire Mueller.

There's little consensus on TikTok's specific national security threat

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

TikTok has become a Rorschach test for how U.S. politicians view China, with little consensus on the specifics of its threat to homeland security.

The big picture: Much of what D.C. fears about TikTok is fear itself, and that's reflected in President Trump's executive order to ban the app by Sept. 20 if it's not sold by parent company ByteDance — alongside another focused on Chinese messaging app WeChat and its parent company Tencent.

U.S. sanctions Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam

Photo: Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)

The Treasury Department on Friday placed sanctions on Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam, following months of tension as she has allowed continued overreach by Beijing to subvert Hong Kong's autonomy.

Why it matters: It's the toughest sanction yet imposed on China for its destruction of Hong Kong’s relatively free political system.