Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo is facing a progressive challenger. Photo: Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

In the Year of the Woman, under President Trump and during the #MeToo era, abortion has largely become a litmus test for Democrats — except in Rhode Island, per NBC News' Alex Seitz-Wald.

Why it matters: Moderate Democrats control the state legislature and they're already facing progressive primary challengers. For Democrats, the 2018 midterm election is not just about taking back control of Congress, it's about fighting for their party identity in the Trump era.

The backstory: Progressive Democrats have already gone after anti-abortion Democrats like Rep. Dan Lipinski in Illinois — though he ultimately won his primary. DNC Chairman Tom Perez has previously said "every Democrat" should support abortion.

  • Since 2016, 11 Planned Parenthood-backed candidates have won state legislative elections in Rhode Island, per NBC.

Let's look at the data, which shows 63% of Rhode Island residents support legal abortion, similar to the 61% of moderate Democrats overall who support abortion in most cases.

  • But the Rhode Island General Assembly concluded its legislative year without passing a bill to preserve the rights guaranteed under Roe v. Wade in the event the Supreme Court overturns it, a goal for anti-abortion groups.

What's next: The state's September 12 primary is a bigger test for progressives than the general election in November. Gov. Gina Raimondo is facing two challengers, including former secretary of state Matt Brown, endorsed by a former NARAL president and feminist icon Gloria Steinem.

  • Lt. Gov. Dan McKee is facing State Rep. J. Aaron Regunberg, who is endorsed by the local Planned Parenthood chapter in Rhode Island and has led the state's anti-Trump movement, according to the Providence Journal.

The bottom line: Progressive candidates are challenging moderates all over the country, but they face an uphill battle in Rhode Island. The state's small districts make local legislators lean conservative on social issues, and the Catholic Church is "unusually active in state politics," per NBC, where its main lobbyist is seen regularly in the Capitol.

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Pelosi, Schumer demand postmaster general reverse USPS cuts ahead of election

Schumer and Pelosi. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer sent a letter to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy on Thursday calling for the recent Trump appointee to reverse operational changes to the U.S. Postal Service that "threaten the timely delivery of mail" ahead of the 2020 election.

Why it matters: U.S. mail and election infrastructure are facing a test like no other this November, with a record-breaking number of mail-in ballots expected as Americans attempt to vote in the midst of a pandemic.

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CRISPR co-discoverer on the gene editor's pandemic push

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Brian Ach/Getty Images for Wired and BSIP/UIG via Getty Images

The coronavirus pandemic is accelerating the development of CRISPR-based tests for detecting disease — and highlighting how gene-editing tools might one day fight pandemics, one of its discoverers, Jennifer Doudna, tells Axios.

Why it matters: Testing shortages and backlogs underscore a need for improved mass testing for COVID-19. Diagnostic tests based on CRISPR — which Doudna and colleagues identified in 2012, ushering in the "CRISPR revolution" in genome editing — are being developed for dengue, Zika and other diseases, but a global pandemic is a proving ground for these tools that hold promise for speed and lower costs.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 18,912,947 — Total deaths: 710,318— Total recoveries — 11,403,473Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 4,867,916 — Total deaths: 159,841 — Total recoveries: 1,577,851 — Total tests: 58,920,975Map.
  3. Politics: Pelosi rips GOP over stimulus negotiations: "Perhaps you mistook them for somebody who gives a damn" — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine tests positive.
  4. Public health: Majority of Americans say states reopened too quicklyFauci says task force will examine aerosolized spread.
  5. Business: The health care sector imploded in Q2More farmers are declaring bankruptcyJuly's jobs report could be an inflection point for the recovery.
  6. Sports: Where college football's biggest conferences stand on playing.