Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with the Axios AM and PM newsletters. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to the Axios Closer newsletter for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios Pro Rata

Dive into the world of dealmakers across VC, PE and M&A with Axios Pro Rata. Delivered daily to your inbox by Dan Primack and Kia Kokalitcheva.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with the Axios Sports newsletter. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Des Moines newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Tampa Bay newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Nashville news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Nashville newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Columbus news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Columbus newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Dallas news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Dallas newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Austin news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Austin newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Atlanta news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Atlanta newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Philadelphia news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Philadelphia newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Chicago news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Chicago newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top DC news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios DC newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Both parties are ramping up fundraising for secretary of state races, which in just a couple of years have gone from obscure down-ballot contests to high-profile races that could reshape American democracy.

Why it matters: Secretaries of state are many states' chief election administrators, making them crucial to efforts to alter election rules. Former President Trump is working to game the rules in his favor — and Democrats are trying to impede him.

What's happening: Party committees focused on those races are already breaking fundraising records.

  • The Democratic Association of Secretaries of State plans to bring in about $15 million this cycle, people with knowledge of its strategy tell Axios.
  • That's more than 10 times its best-ever fundraising haul, according to campaign finance records.
  • It's already received two $250,000 donations this year — the largest contributions the group has ever brought in — from progressive philanthropist Quinn Delaney and Home Depot co-founder Arthur Blank.
  • A spokesperson for Blank declined to comment on his contribution. Delaney did not respond to requests for comment.

Republicans are breaking their own fundraising records too.

The Republican State Leadership Committee, whose portfolio includes secretary of state races, raised $19 million for itself and an affiliated nonprofit group from January through September, RSLC said in a statement.

  • Much of that money will go toward state legislature elections, which is RSLC's primary mandate. But the group expects to be able to devote more resources than ever to secretary of state contests, as well.
  • "When it comes to secretary of state races, our goal right now is to raise as much money as possible so we can elect as many Republicans as possible, because we know they are rapidly increasing the amount of money they are raising on the other side," an RSLC spokesperson told Axios.

The big picture: Democrats and Republicans agree on one thing: these races — once little-noticed elections to posts generally thought of as springboards to higher office — are going to be much more competitive next year.

  • "Historically, these races have been much more technocratic and election administration-based — almost apolitical, rather than partisan," DASS executive director Kim Rogers told Axios.
  • Since the 2020 election, Trump has repeatedly — and falsely — claimed various state elections were rigged against him, thrusting those administrators into the national spotlight.
  • He's endorsed secretary of state candidates in three key states: Arizona, Georgia and Michigan. Democrats fear Trump-backed candidates will weaponize the positions on behalf of a 2024 Trump presidential candidacy.
  • Trump-backed candidates are already seeing fundraising success in their own right. In Georgia, Rep. Jody Hice, a Republican running for secretary of state on a platform that stresses "election integrity," more than doubled incumbent Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger's haul during the first six months of the year.

What they're saying: "In 2018, [Trump] didn't even endorse a single secretary of state," Rogers noted. "I think that's a pretty interesting juxtaposition, from where we were to where we are, because you have just such a huge shift."

Go deeper

Jan 14, 2022 - Axios Atlanta

A look at Gov. Kemp's Georgia budget in a flush financial year

Gov. Brian Kemp greets state lawmakers before giving his State of the State address Thursday. AP Photo/Brynn Anderson

One of the strongest powers of Georgia’s governorship lies in its influence on the state budget, and Gov. Brian Kemp just outlined his budget plans for the year.

Driving the news: After a strong economic bounce back with record tax collections and a $2.2 billion surplus, Kemp has a lot of money to work with.

45 million Americans under winter storm watches near New England

Computer model projection showing the winds moving around the powerful East Coast storm on Saturday Jan. 29, 2022. Image: https://earth.nullschool.net

Nearly 45 million Americans are under winter weather alerts and warnings from North Carolina to northeastern Maine Thursday night, as a major winter storm threatens the region.

Why it matters: It is predicted to be the biggest blizzard since 2018 to strike the Northeast with more than 2 feet of snow possible in parts of eastern Massachusetts, according to the National Weather Service.

Judge nixes Gulf of Mexico oil leases in climate-focused ruling

Tug boats prepare to tow the semi-submersible drilling platform Noble Danny Adkins through the Port Aransas Channel into the Gulf of Mexico on December 12, 2020 in Port Aransas, Texas. Photo: Tom Pennington/Getty Images

A federal judge on Thursday canceled the Biden administration's late 2021 sale of new oil-and-gas drilling leases in the Gulf of Mexico.

Why it matters: The ruling that the greenhouse gas emissions analysis by the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) was insufficient is a win for green groups that challenged the decision, as they seek to curb fossil fuel production.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

Sign up for Mike Allen’s daily Axios AM and PM newsletters to get smarter, faster on the news that matters.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!