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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.

Go deeper

NYC to impose vaccine mandate on private employers

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) announced a new COVID vaccine mandate for private companies during a Monday interview with MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

Why it matters: De Blasio said it was a "first-in-the-nation measure" and will go into effect starting Dec. 27.

D.C.-Beijing tensions are shifting markets

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

U.S. markets stand to lose $2 trillion in value if D.C. and Beijing drift further apart.

Why it matters: Political chasms are showing up in new securities regulations that put companies and investors in a bind. The rules are also another reflection of how much relations between the world’s largest economies have cooled, even as they remain economically interdependent. 

4 hours ago - Health
Axios Investigates

Documents reveal the secrecy of America's drug pricing matrix

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

American businesses spend hundreds of billions of dollars a year on prescription drugs, and the bills keep getting bigger. But some of the companies promising to help rein in those costs prevent employers from looking under the hood.

Why it matters: Documents provided to Axios reveal a new layer of secrecy within the maze of American drug pricing — one in which firms that manage drug coverage for hundreds of employers, representing millions of workers, obscure the details of their work and make it difficult to figure out whether they're actually providing a good deal.