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Expand chart
Note: Consumer sentiment index is not seasonally adjusted. Data: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

The economy is better for President Trump's first midterm election than it was for either of Barack Obama's two midterm elections — largely because it has been steadily improving since the 2008 financial crisis.

Why it matters: In 2010, Democrats lost the House, and in 2014, they lost the Senate — two losses for Obama, and both under weaker economies than Trump has now. Yet it's very possible that Republicans will lose the House under Trump's watch despite the strong economy.

“People get credit for what happens on their watch, whether they deserve it or not," said Doug Holtz-Eakin, a GOP economist. He added, though, that the tax cut and GOP deregulation effort have also helped.

The bottom line: Trump can talk up the strong economy, but if Republicans lose the House on his watch, it will be hard to explain for any other reason than his unpopularity.

Go deeper

Netflix tops 200 million global subscribers

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Netflix said that it added another 8.5 million global subscribers last quarter, bringing its total number of paid subscribers globally to more than 200 million.

The big picture: Positive fourth quarter results show Netflix's resiliency, despite increased competition and pandemic-related production headwinds.

Janet Yellen plays down debt, tax hike concerns in confirmation hearing

Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen at an event in December. (Photo: Alex Wong via Getty Images)

Janet Yellen, Biden's pick to lead the Treasury Department, pushed back against two key concerns from Republican senators at her confirmation hearing on Tuesday: the country's debt and the incoming administration's plans to eventually raise taxes.

Driving the news: Yellen — who's expected to win confirmation — said spending big now will prevent the U.S. from having to dig out of a deeper hole later. She also said the Biden administration's priority right now is coronavirus relief, not raising taxes.

Trump gives farewell address: "We did what we came here to do"

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump gave a farewell video address on Tuesday, saying that his administration "did what we came here to do — and so much more."

Why it matters, via Axios' Alayna Treene: The address is very different from the Trump we've seen in his final weeks as president — one who has refused to accept his loss, who peddled conspiracy theories that fueled the attack on the Capitol, and who is boycotting his successor's inauguration.