Voting in Kentucky. Photo: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

There are plenty of votes left to be counted, but a few trend lines from Tuesday's primary elections are worthy of your time:

  1. The AOC-backed Justice Democrats showed considerable strength.
  2. President Trump's endorsement wasn't worth its weight in gold.
  3. The absentee balloting process will require a reset in expectations.
  4. America needs young people to step up as polling workers.

The big picture: The U.S. is less than five months from an election, and the lasting visual from last night was the crowd of Black voters pounding on the doors of a polling center, let in only because of a judge's emergency injunction.

In New York's Democratic primaries, 16-term Rep. Eliot Engel is trailing middle school principal Jamaal Bowman, who was backed by AOC.

  • "In 2018, Dem voters showed an unprecedented desire to nominate women. In 2020, we're witnessing another sea change in desire, this time towards Black candidates," tweeted Dave Wasserman of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report.
  • 14-term Rep. Carolyn Maloney has a narrow lead, although she said it should widen.

Between the lines: The New York races might not be called today because of absentee ballots, which are in huge demand because of COVID-19.

  • Expect a similar trend in November, and don't be surprised if there isn't a winner on election night, or even the day after.

In North Carolina's Republican primary, President Trump suffered a surprise defeat in the race to fill the seat vacated by his chief of staff Mark Meadows.

  • The loss was only the second endorsement in a Republican primary where Trump came out on the losing end.
  • As Axios' Jonathan Swan reported today, Trump was persuaded into the endorsement by Meadows' wife, and the decision angered House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

The bottom line: If you're young and healthy, now would be a very good time to step up as a poll worker.

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Updated 16 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Pennsylvania's "naked ballots" are 2020's hanging chads

A stack of mail-in ballot applications in Pennsylvania. Photo: Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images

Pennsylvania's Supreme Court ordered state officials last week to throw out mail-in ballots submitted without a required inner "secrecy" envelope in November's election, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

The state of play: The decision went under the radar alongside the simultaneous decision to extend the time that mail-in ballots could be counted, but Philadelphia's top elections official warned state legislators this week that throwing out so-called "naked ballots" could bring "electoral chaos" to the state and cause "tens of thousands of votes" to be thrown out — potentially tipping the presidential election.

New interactive tool shows Biden's mail voting danger

Data: SurveyMonkey; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Voters who disapprove of President Trump most strongly are by far the most likely to vote by mail in the presidential election, according to an Axios analysis of exclusive data from SurveyMonkey and Tableau.

Why it matters: The new data shows just how strongly the mail-in vote is likely to favor Joe Biden — with potentially enormous implications in the swing states due to the greater risk of rejection with mail ballots.

Sanders: "This is an election between Donald Trump and democracy"


In an urgent appeal on Thursday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said President Trump presented "unique threats to our democracy" and detailed a plan to ensure the election results will be honored and that voters can cast their ballots safely.

Driving the news: When asked yesterday whether he would commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses, Trump would not, and said: "We're going to have to see what happens."