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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Joel Benenson, who led polling for President Obama, tells me liberal Democrats are endangering the House majority in next year's midterms by trying to load too much onto President Biden's spending packages.

Why it matters: Benenson has years of data showing that the more lawmakers add to a massive piece of legislation, the less likely that swing voters will swallow it. And, as Benenson put it: "You gotta win the middle to win."

Lemme tell you a secret: You know someone who agrees with Joel Benenson? President Biden.

  • I'm told Biden firmly believes that politically, the country lives in the middle. He'll resist pressure from the party's muscular left to add elements to his proposals that could sink them.

Benenson did polling on infrastructure in 2019 in six crucial states: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Texas.

  • The takeaway: Overwhelming majorities, of all political stripes, support infrastructure spending. Support is strongest the closer it's connected to their lives — Benenson is big on broadband and clean water, both in the Biden plan.
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Go deeper

Everyone wants to be an influencer

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The number of people looking to become online influencers has exploded during the pandemic.

Why it matters: Almost anyone can find themselves in a position to become an influencer, and brands are throwing billions of dollars at online content creators.

At least 3 dead after Amtrak train derails in Montana

Photo: Jacob Cordeiro/Twitter

An Amtrak train derailed near Joplin, Montana, resulting in at least three deaths and multiple injuries to passengers and crew on Saturday, per authorities and a company statement.

The big picture: 141 passengers and 16 crew members were estimated to be on the Empire Builder train, traveling from Chicago to Seattle and Portland, when eight of the 10 cars derailed about 4p.m., Amtrak said early Sunday.

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Federal judge blocks vaccine mandate for NYC teachers

Students are dismissed from the first day of school at PS 133 in Brooklyn on Sept. 13. Photo: Michael Nagle/Xinhua via Getty Images

A federal appeals court is set to hear a challenge Wednesday to a vaccine mandate planned for New York City school employees.

Why it matters The vaccine mandate was set to begin on Monday, prompting concerns over staffing shortages in schools across the nation's largest school system. But a judge on Friday temporarily blocked the measure, per AP.