Democrat Ralph Northam debates Republican Ed Gillespie. Photo: AP

Republicans are now realizing how Trump is threatening their party's image and their candidates' chances in gubernatorial races, particularly after Ralph Northam beat Ed Gillespie, "an exceptionally good candidate" according to Gov. Scott Walker.

Why it matters: The GOP is trying to keep 26 governor's seats in the 2018 elections, including a handful in blue states, so the stakes are high for Republicans. And the Democratic Governors Association has already been refining their playbook after Northam's victory to share with Dem candidates in every race, but particularly those running in red states.

Nearly 45% of votes cast in the Virginia gubernatorial race were from those who strongly disapprove of Trump and who supported Ralph Northam, according to exit polls. "Just simply the intensity of the opposition — I think that's what was reflected in the Virginia vote," said Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, per CNN. "That should be a wake-up call to all of our supporters in the elections next year."

  • One effective strategy for Democrats in 2018, based on what DGA Political Director Corey Platt told reporters they learned from Northam's success, is to point out that their Republican opponents won't stand up to Trump.
  • Northam got more votes (1.4 million) than any other Virginia gubernatorial candidate in history, and the election got a historic 2.6 million votes total. That, in addition to the 57% of Virginia voters who disapprove of Trump, reflected the anti-Trump opposition that helped Democrats win this race.
  • Another big fear for Republican governors "is not who my opponent's going to be," Gov. Walker said. It's the strength of financial support from various Dem groups, like former AG Eric Holder's National Democratic Redistricting Committee, as well as Dem activists, like billionaire Tom Steyer.

Go deeper: What Democratic groups learned from the Virginia elections.

Go deeper

Updated 53 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 a.m. ET: 30,804,120 — Total deaths: 957,348— Total recoveries: 21,062,785Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 a.m. ET: 6,766,631 — Total deaths: 199,268 — Total recoveries: 2,577,446 — Total tests: 94,211,463Map.
  3. Education: What we overlooked in the switch to remote learning
  4. Politics: In reversal, CDC again recommends coronavirus testing for asymptomatic people.
  5. Health: The dwindling chances of eliminating COVID-19.
  6. World: Guatemalan president tests positive for COVID-19 — The countries painting their pandemic recoveries green.

What we overlooked in the switch to remote learning

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

America’s rapid and urgent transition to online school has come with a host of unforeseen consequences that are only getting worse as it continues into the fall.

The big picture: The issues range from data privacy to plagiarism, and schools are ill-equipped to deal with them, experts say.

The positions of key GOP senators on replacing Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell talks to reporters on Capitol Hill last Thursday. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

With President Trump planning to nominate his third Supreme Court justice nominee by next week, key Republican senators are indicating their stance on replacing the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg just over six weeks out from Election Day.

The big picture: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) has vowed that "Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate." But Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) told Alaska Public Media, "I would not vote to confirm a Supreme Court nominee. We are 50 some days away from an election."