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Data: The American Presidency Project; The Cook Political Report; Chart: Harry Stevens/Axios

Even if the Democrats gain seats in both chambers of Congress in November, early forecasts suggest that any anti-Trump wave won't be particularly large compared to midterm elections of the past.

Why it matters: President Trump's low approval numbers and heightened enthusiasm among Democratic voters both point to Democratic success in November. But it probably won't be a wave of historic proportions, based on Cook Political Report's latest predictions. At best, it could allow them to win the House while barely shifting the Senate at all.

The back story: As the chart shows, both the House and Senate have nearly always moved against incumbent presidents in mid-term elections. See the big Republican swings against Barack Obama in 2010 and 2014 towards the top right, and, in the lower left quadrant, the Democratic swings against Dwight Eisenhower in 1958 and Gerald Ford in the post-Watergate midterm of 1974.

This year may be different. The Democrats will almost certainly make gains in the House — Cook Political Report predicts Democrats will gain between 25 and 40 seats, enough to win back control of the chamber.

  • But the Senate math is tougher for them. Cook predicts Democrats will gain as many as two seats, which would give them control of both chambers, but they may also lose one.
  • And there's no guarantee that the House wave will be strong. A CNN poll this week found that the Democrats' advantage over Republicans in the generic ballot has gotten weaker, and is now within the margin of error.

What to watch: If the Democrats gain seats in the House while the GOP gains in the Senate, it will be the first midterm in 36 years in which the two chambers of Congress moved in different directions.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 31,175,205 — Total deaths: 962,076— Total recoveries: 21,294,229Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 6,829,956 — Total deaths: 199,690 — Total recoveries: 2,590,695 — Total tests: 95,121,596Map.
  3. Health: CDC says it mistakenly published guidance about COVID-19 spreading through air.
  4. Media: Conservative blogger who spread COVID-19 misinformation worked for Fauci's agency.
  5. Politics: House Democrats file legislation to fund government through Dec. 11.
  6. World: "The Wake-Up Call" warns the West about the consequences of mishandling a pandemic.

McConnell: Senate has "more than sufficient time" to process Supreme Court nomination

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in a floor speech Monday that the chamber has "more than sufficient time" to confirm a replacement for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg before the election, and accused Democrats of preparing "an even more appalling sequel" to the fight over Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation.

Why it matters: Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has said "nothing is off the table next year" if Republicans push ahead with the confirmation vote before November, vowing alongside Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) to use "every procedural tool available to us to ensure that we buy ourselves the time necessary."

House Democrats file legislation to fund government through Dec. 11

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

House Democrats on Monday released their proposal for short-term legislation to fund the government through December 11.

Why it matters: This is Congress' chief legislative focus before the election. They must pass a continuing resolution (CR) before midnight on Oct. 1 to avoid a government shutdown — something both Hill leaders and the White House have claimed is off the table.