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Mercedes plant in Vance, Alabama. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty

Job automation has become a key factor in economic anxiety in recent years. As 2020 campaigns begin, Republicans are far more likely than Democrats to live and work in regions with highly automatable jobs, according to a new analysis from Brookings.

Driving the news: Brookings' Mark Muro, Jacob Whiton and Robert Maxim find a correlation between susceptibility to automation and red congressional districts. In the 2018 midterms, they found that 46 of the 50 congressional districts most exposed to automation elected Republicans. Similarly, all 50 of the least-exposed districts are represented by Democrats.

  • The analysis builds on a paper published a year ago by Carl Frey and two Oxford colleagues about the impact of robots on the 2016 election.
  • They found that President Trump's support was far higher in local labor markets with higher exposure to robot automation.

Kyle Kondik, managing editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia, tells Axios that he sees no opening for Democrats to exploit worker anxiety caused by layoffs and the threat of more.

  • Trump's get-tough platform on trade has resonated in these Republican-held districts, Kondik said.
  • "Democrats did hold versions of some of these districts prior to 2010, but they have become so Republican now that they do not seem like viable targets in 2020."

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
13 mins ago - Economy & Business

Ripple CEO calls for clearer crypto regulations following SEC lawsuit

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse tells "Axios on HBO" that if his company loses a lawsuit brought by the SEC, it would put the U.S. cryptocurrency industry at a competitive disadvantage.

Why it matters: Garlinghouse's comments may seem self-serving, but his call for clearer crypto rules is consistent with longstanding entreaties from other industry players.

Republican Sen. Roy Blunt will not seek re-election in 2022

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), widely seen as a member of the Republican establishment in Congress, will not run for re-election in 2022, he announced on Twitter Monday.

Why it matters: The 71-year-old senator is the No. 4-ranking Republican in the Senate, and the fifth GOP senator to announce he will not run for re-election in 2022 as the party faces questions about its post-Trump future.

56 mins ago - Health

Popular independent COVID tracker officially ends daily updates

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The COVID Tracking Project, a volunteer group of data analysts, researchers, and journalists brought together by The Atlantic, published its final daily update on Monday — the one-year anniversary of its founding.

Why it matters: The project quickly became a vital resource for news media, academic researchers, and everyday Americans to track COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in the absence of reliable and public data from the federal government.

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