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Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

In a special preview for Axios readers, here's a new analysis by David Wasserman of Cook Political Report, unpacking the GOP's daunting math:

"With 102 days to go, Democrats remain substantial favorites for House control. A big reason: Republicans are defending 42 open or vacant seats, a record since at least 1930." (After the March victory by Democrat Conor Lamb in Pennsylvania, Democrats need to flip 23 seats to take the House).

  • "Of Republicans' 42 incumbent-less seats, eight are in districts that voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016, and an additional 13 are in districts where President Trump received less than 55 percent."
  • Killer stat: "[S]ince 1992, in situations when a president's party was stuck defending an open seat two years after the president failed to carry it, that party has batted zero for 23 keeping it in their column."

"Fundraising deficits are a growing GOP problem":

  • "[I]n 20 of the 42 seats, the leading Democrat raised more than the leading Republican between April and June, including in seven of eight Clinton-carried districts (Rep. Dave Reichert's open WA-08 was the only exception) and 13 of 34 Trump-carried seats."

David's ratings for the 42 Republican open seats: 3 Likely D ... 5 Lean D ... 4 Tossup ... 7 Lean R ... 4 Likely R ... 19 Solid R.

Go deeper:

  1. Get more stories like this by signing up for our daily morning newsletter, Axios AM
  2. Read the full analysis at Cook Political Report.
  3. Democratic strength in midterm House races.
  4. What Democrats need to take the Senate
  5. Huge majority of Republicans support Trump's Putin press conference
  6. Why Trump is tweeting about Michael Cohen’s taxi business

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Woman who allegedly stole laptop from Pelosi's office faces fresh charges

Photo: FBI

A woman accused of breaching the Capitol and planning to sell to Russia a laptop or hard drive she allegedly stole from Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office faces fresh charges, according to a criminal complaint amended Tuesday.

Driving the news: Riley June Williams, 22, who was arrested in Pennsylvania's Middle District Monday, is suspected of being the woman featured in a video saying, "dude, put on gloves," before a man's gloved hand reaches for the laptop, per the Department of Justice.

Trump grants flurry of last-minute pardons

Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty

President Trump issued 73 pardons and commuted the sentences of 70 individuals early Wednesday, 11 hours from leaving office.

Why it matters: It's a last-minute gift to some of the president's loyalists and an evident use of executive power with only hours left of his presidency. Axios reported in December that Trump planned to grant pardons to "every person who ever talked to me."

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Trump revokes ethics order barring former aides from lobbying

Photo: Spencer Platt via Getty

Shortly after pardoning members of Congress and lobbyists convicted on corruption charges, President Trump revoked an executive order barring former officials from lobbying for five years after leaving his administration.

Why it matters: The order, which was signed eight days after he took office, was an attempt to fulfill his campaign promise to "drain the swamp."

  • But with less than 12 hours left in office, Trump has now removed those limitations on his own aides.

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