Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. 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 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!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on 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!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on 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!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on 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!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Recent polling in a slew of states that carried President Trump to his thin win in 2016 show him starting 2020 in a deep hole.

What's new: Based on demographic changes, Republicans for the first time have authentic worries about Arizona, Georgia, Texas and other states they once took for granted.

Why it matters: Trump's margin for error this time is much smaller, because he's being squeezed from the north and the south.

  • From the north: Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania are harder this time because Hillary Clinton, a turnoff for many working-class voters, won't be on the ballot.
  • From the south: Demographics are making North Carolina, Georgia, Texas and Arizona more competitive, and realistically in play.
  • That's part of the reason for the fascination with more centrist Democrats like Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Beto O'Rourke and Joe Biden: The states that Trump won, but could easily lose, are swingy — not super-liberal.

Among the holes in his 2016 map:

  • In Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wrote after a statewide poll in January that Trump "has a precarious path to victory," based on the facts that his job approval was just 44%, opposition was more intense than support, and Democrats were more unified than Republicans.
  • In Michigan, the Detroit Free Press reports that Trump faces "serious headwinds": "Less than half of likely voters believe he’s doing a good job, according to some recent polls, and many, if not most, plan to vote for someone else."
  • "Pennsylvania meltdown triggers Republican alarms," Politico wrote after the midterms. "A GOP collapse threatens to torpedo Donald Trump’s re-election prospects."
  • In last weekend's Iowa Poll, 67% of Republicans said they would definitely vote to re-elect Trump, while 27% said they would consider someone else or definitely vote for someone else. 40% want a GOP challenger.

But Trump allies tell me their 2016 upsets reduce their current worry:

  • "He’s basically where he was and, depending on the poll, possibly better than where he was going into the 2016 general election," a current adviser said. "I wouldn’t say this is a bad place to be."
  • "Democrats will go through exactly what Republicans did in 2016," added an alumnus of Trump's campaign and White House. "The question is where they can coalesce around a single candidate — not sure that’s possible with all the differing factions."

Be smart: "I’d sooner be the Dems than Trump," David Axelrod, Obama's campaign architect, told me. "He drew an inside straight in 2016 with narrow wins in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. He is vulnerable today in each, with no obvious prospect of adding a state to his column in 2020."

  • But Axelrod added: "[P]residents often run better against an opponent than they do in the abstract, and Trump does have a kind of feral genius for caricaturing his foes and dominating the media."
Subscribe to Axios AM/PM for a daily rundown of what's new and why it matters, directly from Mike Allen.
Please enter a valid email.
Please enter a valid email.
Server error. Please try a different email.
Subscribed! Look for Axios AM and PM in your inbox tomorrow or read the latest Axios AM now.

Go deeper

Kids’ screen time up 50% during pandemic

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

When the coronavirus lockdowns started in March, kids tech firm SuperAwesome found that screen time was up 50%. Nearly a year later, that percentage hasn't budged, according to new figures from the firm.

Why it matters: For most parents, pre-pandemic expectations around screen time are no longer realistic. The concern now has shifted from the number of hours in front of screens to the quality of screen time.

In photos: D.C. and U.S. states on alert for pre-inauguration violence

National Guard troops stand behind security fencing with the dome of the U.S. Capitol Building behind them, on Jan. 16. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Security has been stepped up in Washington, D.C., and state capitols across the U.S. as authorities brace for potential violence this weekend.

Driving the news: Following the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by some supporters of President Trump, the FBI has said there could be armed protests in D.C. and in all 50 state capitols in the run-up to President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration Wednesday.

16 hours ago - Politics & Policy

The new Washington

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Axios subject-matter experts brief you on the incoming administration's plans and team.