Barack and Michelle Obama are hitting the campaign trail in 2018. Photo: Matt McClain/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Barack Obama is holding campaign events with Democratic candidates in California, Ohio, Illinois and Pennsylvania just two months before the 2018 midterm elections in November. Michelle Obama is headlining voter registration rallies in Las Vegas and Miami this month, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: The Obamas are Democrats' best counter to President Trump's heavy campaign schedule this cycle. Their event announcements come as former President Obama recently endorsed over 80 Democratic candidates up and down the ballot.

Driving the news: Per the NYT, Obama is going to Ohio to stump with Democratic gubernatorial candidate Richard Cordray; he's campaigning with Democrats running in all seven of California's GOP-held districts that Hillary Clinton won in 2016; and he'll campaign with Democrats in Illinois and Pennsylvania.

  • Michelle Obama's voter registration rallies are part of When We All Vote, the nonpartisan group she's involved with that encourages and promotes voting in the 2018 election.

Go deeper: View the full list of Obama's 2018 endorsements

Correction: This post has been updated to reflect that Michelle Obama will not be appearing with any candidates at her rallies.

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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Democratic lawyers are preparing to challenge any effort by President Trump to swap electors chosen by voters with electors selected by Republican-controlled legislatures. One state of particular concern: Pennsylvania, where the GOP controls the state house.

Why it matters: Trump's refusal to commit to a peaceful transfer of power, together with a widely circulated article in The Atlantic about how bad the worst-case scenarios could get, is drawing new attention to the brutal fights that could jeopardize a final outcome.

Federal judge rules Trump administration can't end census early

Census workers outside Lincoln Center in New York. Photo: Noam Galai/Getty Images

A federal judge ruled late Thursday that the Trump administration could not end the 2020 census a month early.

Why it matters: The decision states that an early end — on Sept. 30, instead of Oct. 31 — would likely produce inaccuracies and thus impact political representation and government funding around the country.

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Data: Coders Against COVID; Note: Rhode Island and Puerto Rico did not meet minimum testing thresholds for analysis. Values may not add to 100% due to rounding; Cartogram: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Schools in Southern and Midwestern states are most at risk of coronavirus transmission, according to an analysis by Coders Against COVID that uses risk indicators developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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