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Screenshot via NDTC VoteBuilder platform

The National Democratic Training Committee (NDTC) is launching the first-ever online training platform to help 2018 candidates and their campaigns identify and reach voters through "VoteBuilder," the Democratic Party's voter database built by NGP VAN.

Why it matters: So much focus is on the House and Senate, but many of the candidates the group has trained this cycle are running in state legislature races in Trump country. NDTC hopes the free online platform will help candidates, staffers, and activists find the most crucial voters more quickly and efficiently than before — and help Dems regain some of the 1,000 state legislative seats they lost under Barack Obama.

The big picture: NDTC has spent $4 million training 679 candidates this cycle, and 511 of them won their primaries, per the group's data. Of the nominees who've used the group's resources, 275 are women.

  • They've held more than 50 in-person training sessions across all 50 states in 2018.
  • VoteBuilder is exclusive to Democratic candidates and campaigns and NDTC's onling training is meant to supplement the in-person training they've already done.
  • The voter data available through VoteBuilder comes from the DNC and other Democratic groups. Campaigns can identify voters and potential volunteers.

The bottom line: Democrats have nominated more than 150 first-time candidates this year and their newbie campaigns don't have time to waste in these last five weeks if they want to flip state chambers and the House.

Go deeper: Progressives go digital before 2018 midterms.

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
9 mins ago - Podcasts

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek does a podcast on the future of podcasts

Spotify on Wednesday reported significant ad revenue growth from its podcast business, as part of its quarterly earnings disclosure.

Take a listen: Company founder and CEO Daniel Ek appeared on the Axios Re:Cap podcast to discuss how the podcast business model is changing, why he's spending big on exclusive shows and his personal favorites in both podcasting and music.

Updated 49 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Bipartisan group reaches agreement on $1.2 trillion "hard" infrastructure bill

Sens. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images.

After weeks of long nights and endless Zoom calls, a bipartisan group of senators finally reached a deal on "the major issues" in their $1.2 trillion "hard" infrastructure package, GOP senators involved in the talks announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: It could be days before the group finishes writing the bill, but the Senate can begin debating the legislation in earnest now that they have resolved the outstanding issues. The bill needs 60 votes to advance in the Senate.

After walkout, Activision Blizzard employees vow to keep fighting

Bing Guan/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Organizers of a Wednesday walkout at Activision Blizzard, the gaming company behind "Call of Duty" and "World of Warcraft," are saying the demonstration "is not a one-time event that our leaders can ignore.”

Why it matters: Within the video game industry, sweeping promises for change are often followed by a handful of half-measures that fail to solve the systematic problems that caused them.