Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

When Christine Blasey Ford finished her testimony, everything seemed to be going badly for Brett Kavanaugh. At first, when he strode across the hearing room and started yelling about a Democratic conspiracy against him, it seemed to be going even worse. But by the end, the normal partisan equilibrium was restored and it seemed he was likely to be confirmed.

Key takeaway from inside the hearing room: Republicans found a way to rally to Kavanaugh’s defense without ever really saying what about Ford’s testimony they found unpersuasive.

  • None of GOP prosecutor Rachel Mitchell’s lines of inquiry stuck.
  • Trump’s always-hit-back strategy seems to be the thing that worked. Kavanaugh did it, then Lindsey Graham did it. 
  • During Kavanaugh's testimony, every Republican before Graham had yielded their time to the prosecutor. After Graham's fiery presentation, no one did. 
  • What if Kavanaugh is on the court and a Senate Democrat is president? It’s not that big a stretch. Will they get a fair hearing?

Go deeper: Hearing transcript.

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Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

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Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

France reported more than 2,500 new COVID-19 cases in 24 hours — the largest single-day number since May. French officials said the situation was "clearly worsening," per France 24.

By the numbers: Over 745,600 people have died of the novel coronavirus globally and over 20.4 million have tested positive, per Johns Hopkins. Almost 12.7 million have recovered from the virus.

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U.S. reports 1,485 coronavirus deaths in a single day

Healthcare workers handling coronavirus tests in Los Angeles on August 11. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

The U.S. reported 1,485 deaths due to the coronavirus on Wednesday, COVID Tracking Project data shows.

Why it matters: It's the highest single-day COVID-19 death toll since May 15, when the country reported 1,507 deaths. The U.S. has seen a total of 157,758 deaths from the virus.