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Illustration: Axios Visuals

With less than a week until Election Day, top operators in both parties tell me the events of the past week have helped lock in the split decision they have long seen coming: The House flips to Dems (probably decisively), and Republicans hold the Senate (and perhaps gain two seats).

What they're saying: Democrats who had grown skittish about taking the House say they're resting easier. "The panic has abated," said a well-known Democrat on a secret mission in one of the key states.

Some top Republicans tell me they worry that their candidates will pay a price following the anti-Semitic murders in Pittsburgh and the arrest of a rabid Trump supporter for the mail bombs.

  • "World looks crazy, and we are in charge of it," said an official closely involved in the House fight.
  • "Hard to imagine a worse week at a worse time. What it means is hard to know exactly, but certainly not helping us win close races."
  • And why might the news have a split effect for Senate and House? "I think red state voters see the president leading the nation in a crisis, where the suburban voters blame him for the tone," a veteran GOP adviser said.

The one thing worrying Democrats ... A longtime Democratic operative said this is what to watch for on Tuesday:

  • "Super low turnout: Democrats win. Our core voters are going to vote. They hate Trump. They are dying to vote. Look at the Upshot/Siena polls. In every race where they do a turnout model, when they do voters 'certain to vote,' our candidates win. By a lot."
  • "Super high turnout: Democrats win. In addition to owning the most intense voters, we also own the least intense voters. Largely young people."
  • "But medium turnout: That scares me. The GOP owns the voters who aren’t quite as intense as our voters, but who are show-up-often voters."

Be smart ... One reason the cake may already be baked: As many as 40% of votes have been cast in early voting.

  • Disclaimer: This represents the consensus view of the top Democrats and Republicans most involved in the 2018 campaigns — all of whom were involved in 2016. This is the age of disruption: New shocks await, I guarantee.

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Go deeper

Updated 31 mins ago - Politics & Policy

House passes George Floyd Justice in Policing Act

Photo: Stephen Maturen via Getty Images

The House voted 220 to 212 on Wednesday evening to pass a policing bill named for George Floyd, the Black man whose death in Minneapolis last year led to nationwide protests against police brutality and racial injustice.

Why it matters: The legislation overhauls qualified immunity for police officers, bans chokeholds at the federal level, prohibits no-knock warrants in federal drug cases and outlaws racial profiling.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Senate Republicans plan to exact pain before COVID relief vote

Sen. Ron Johnson. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Republicans are demanding a full, 600-page bill reading — and painful, multi-hour "vote-a-rama" — as Democrats forge ahead with their plan to pass President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package.

Why it matters: The procedural war is aimed at forcing Democrats to defend several parts the GOP considers unnecessary and partisan. While the process won't substantially impact the final version of the mammoth bill, it'll provide plenty of ammunition for future campaign messaging.

The new grifters: outrage profiteers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

As Republicans lost the Senate and narrowly missed retaking the House, millions of dollars in grassroots donations were diverted to a handful of 2020 congressional campaigns challenging high-profile Democrats that, realistically, were never going to succeed.

Why it matters: Call it the outrage-industrial complex. Slick fundraising consultants market candidates contesting some of their party’s most reviled opponents. Well-meaning donors pour money into dead-end campaigns instead of competitive contests. The only winner is the consultants.