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Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Like everything in our lives these days, the midterms on Nov. 6 (just 24 shopping days away) are all about President Trump.

The bottom line: Trump wants the elections to be about Trump, and makes that plain in the mad rush of rallies heading into voting day. The gender gap is off the charts wide — due to Trump.

The House is virtually certain to flip to Democrats for two reasons: insanely high turnout and fundraising among liberals — all in reaction to Trump — and suburban woman snubbing the GOP, also because of Trump. 

  • Nancy Pelosi is highly likely to then become Speaker, again thanks to Trump. A record number of women will have run, voted and won. It’s hard to see women denying a woman the speakership, especially in the Trump era.
  • Kevin McCarthy is highly likely to lead the House GOP post-election, in part because of his tight relationship with Trump — plus his embrace of the Trump border wall and immigration strategy. 

The Senate, on the other hand, looks better and better for Republicans to hold. Why? Trump!

  • The rural voters who will decide Senate races from North Dakota to Tennessee love Trump — and his us-against-them rallying cry during and after the Brett Kavanaugh hearings.

Be smart: Regardless of the outcome of the House and Senate, it will be all about Trump’s wall in the lame duck, Trump’s impeachment after that, and Trump’s reelection campaign in 2020.

Subscribe free to "Axios AM: Mike's Top 10," our 7-day-a-week day-starter, and Jonathan Swan's weekly Washington lookahead "Sneak Peek" here.

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Go deeper

13 hours ago - World

Maximum pressure campaign escalates with Fakhrizadeh killing

Photo: Fars News Agency via AP

The assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the architect of Iran’s military nuclear program, is a new height in the maximum pressure campaign led by the Trump administration and the Netanyahu government against Iran.

Why it matters: It exceeds the capture of the Iranian nuclear archives by the Mossad, and the sabotage in the advanced centrifuge facility in Natanz.

Scoop: Biden weighs retired General Lloyd Austin for Pentagon chief

Lloyd Austin testifying before Congress in 2015. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Joe Biden is considering retired four-star General Lloyd Austin as his nominee for defense secretary, adding him to a shortlist that includes Jeh Johnson, Tammy Duckworth and Michele Flournoy, two sources with direct knowledge of the decision-making tell Axios.

Why it matters: A nominee for Pentagon chief was noticeably absent when the president-elect rolled out his national security team Tuesday. Flournoy had been widely seen as the likely pick, but Axios is told other factors — race, experience, Biden's comfort level — have come into play.

Updated 15 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York COVID restrictions.
  3. World: Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.
  4. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in December Black Friday shopping across the U.S., in photosAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.