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Photo: Ken Cedeno/Pool/Getty Images

The Cook Political Report on Wednesday updated its forecast for South Carolina's Senate race, moving it from "lean Republican" to "toss up."

Why it matters: Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham's Democratic challenger, Jaime Harrison, has been able to out-raise the sitting senator — a key ally of President Trump — and tighten the race, which could be pivotal in deciding control of the Senate.

  • Recent polling shows Harrison tied with Graham, who won his last race by 10 points.
  • Harrison has raised an astonishing amount of money — $14 million during last quarter alone — and has been able to blanket the airwaves with advertisting, leaving Graham scrambling to catch up.

The state of play: Graham, as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, will take a front-and-center role in the Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Amy Coney Barrett, which could help to move the dial for him among conservatives in the weeks ahead.

Flashback: In April, Cook moved the race from "solid Republican" to "lean Republican."

The bottom line, via Cook's Jessica Taylor: "Ultimately, this race has earned a more competitive rating — underscoring just how fast the GOP majority is slipping away if they have to defend turf like this, and also how much Trump’s numbers have fallen across the board."

Go deeper

Top Republicans want Trump done — forevermore

President Trump faces reporters as he walks toward Marine One yesterday. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Top Republicans want to bury President Trump, for good. But they are divided whether to do it with one quick kill via impeachment, or let him slowly fade away.

  • A House impeachment vote, which would make Trump the first president to be impeached twice, is expected in mid-afternoon.

The big picture: Sources tell Axios Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would be more likely than not to vote to convict Trump — a green light for other Republican senators to follow.

1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Jen Psaki: "With that I’d love to take your questions”

In her inaugural briefing as White House press secretary, Jen Psaki said she has a “deep respect for the role of a free and independent press in our democracy,” and pledged to hold daily briefings.

Why it matters: Conferences with the press secretary in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room became almost non-existent under the Trump administration. By sending Psaki to the podium hours after President Biden took the oath of office, the White House signaled a return to pre-Trump norms.

Avril Haines confirmed as director of national intelligence

Haines. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Image

Avril Haines was quickly confirmed by the Senate on Wednesday as the director of national intelligence (DNI) in a vote of 84-10.

Why it matters: Haines is the first of President Biden's nominees to receive a full Senate confirmation and she will be the first woman to serve as DNI. She's previously served as CIA deputy director from 2013 to 2015 and deputy national security adviser from 2015 to 2017.