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Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

It took Donald J. Trump to do what do-gooders, activists, politicians and TV ads failed to do: get the American public interested in midterm elections and the consequences of voting.

The big picture: The dirty, sad truth of congressional elections is Democrats typically suck at voting in midterms. Mostly old, mostly white voters are usually the only ones bothering to show up. Hence, GOP dominance, especially in House races these past few decades. But no more: Everywhere you look you see signs of record-setting voting on both sides. It’s the only bipartisan show in town! 

  • Polls show record interest in voting — both across the board, and among minority groups. The Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found that 81% of likely voters expressed high levels of interest, the most in any midterm since the poll began tracking voter interest in 2006.
  • Polls show the possibility of record youth voting. More than 2.3 million voters under 30 have already voted this year, according to Tom Bonier, CEO of the Democratic political data firm TargetSmart. At this point in the 2014 midterm cycle, 849,876 voters under 30 had cast ballots.
  • And early voting is setting records across the board (at least partly because it's more available): 30 states reported exceeding their total number of mail and in-person votes cast ahead of the 2014 midterms, per AP.

The current president, the last president and celebrities engaged as never seen before:

  • Trump's fall road show culminated with 11 rallies in eight states in six days, with a triple-header yesterday.
  • In an unprecedented swing for a former president, President Obama held a dozen rallies in 16 days. Yesterday, Obama surprised volunteers at a Fairfax County, Va., field office for Sen. Tim Kaine.
  • Jeff Bridges, who played The Dude in "The Big Lebowski," campaigned for Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.).

Be smart: To the delight of both sides, in a series of technically local and state races, Trump succeeded in his dream of putting himself on the midterm ballot.

P.S. ... The WashPost's Josh Dawsey has a look at Trump's final push: "Early in the day, the president said that people once didn’t care about the 'boring' midterm elections. 'Now it’s like the hottest thing,' he said."

Go deeper:

Go deeper

New report hits DOJ over lack of police shooting data

Demonstrations followed the shooting of Dijon Kizzee by Los Angeles Sheriff's deputies in 2020. Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

A new government accountability report says the Department of Justice failed to consistently publish an annual summary of police excessive force data from 2016 to 2020, as required by federal law.

Why it matters: The data is crucial for the DOJ to monitor excessive force cases, and used to investigate law enforcement agencies with patterns of abuse. The DOJ can pivot off it to pursue court action to force reforms.

18 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Congressional leaders clinch support for crucial defense bill, debt limit votes

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer passes waiting reporters on Tuesday. Photo: Eric Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Congress has found a shortcut to pass its annual defense funding bill and raise the debt limit.

Driving the news: The House will vote Tuesday night on two major bills — one creating a one-time, fast-track process for the Senate to raise the debt ceiling with just 51 votes, and another passing its annual defense bill.

Biden's pick to lead major banking regulator drops out

Saule Omarova, nominee for Comptroller of the Currency, at a confirmation hearing on Nov. 18. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

President Biden's pick to head one of the country's most powerful banking regulators is dropping out of consideration for the post, according to a statement from Biden that accepted the withdrawal.

Why it matters: Saule Omarova, nominated to lead the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, faced a tough path to confirmation — with opposition from Republicans and moderate Democrats.

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