President Trump. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

With midterms on the horizon and Republicans struggling to make gains with voters despite a robust economy, the GOP is now trying to turn voters against their opposition by painting them as dangerous, reports the LA Times.

Why it matters: Republicans are spending millions of dollars on this effort, but Democrats remain optimistic ahead of the midterms.

The state of play: Democratic confidence is high — particularly in campaigns working closely with women. Meanwhile, the president's approval ratings continue to sink.

The fallout: The uncertainty facing the GOP in midterms is putting the White House's current affairs on hold. China has called off planned trade talks and likely won't return to the negotiating table until after mid-term elections, Bloomberg reports.

Go deeper

Meadows on Wray's voter fraud dismissal: "He has a hard time finding emails in his own FBI"

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows dismissed FBI Director Chris Wray's testimony that the U.S. has never historically seen evidence of widespread voter fraud, including by mail, during an appearance on "CBS This Morning" on Friday.

Why it matters: Meadows' statement highlights the Trump administration's strategy to sow doubt in November's election results by challenging the legitimacy of mail-in ballots, which are expected to skew heavily in Democrats' favor.

The next cliff for the unemployed

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A program supporting Americans who are typically ineligible for unemployment benefits will expire at the end of the year, with millions still relying on it as the labor market sputters.

Why it matters: The result could be catastrophic for the economic recovery that Wall Street fears is already fragile.

The apocalypse scenario

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Democratic lawyers are preparing to challenge any effort by President Trump to swap electors chosen by voters with electors selected by Republican-controlled legislatures. One state of particular concern: Pennsylvania, where the GOP controls the state house.

Why it matters: Trump's refusal to commit to a peaceful transfer of power, together with a widely circulated article in The Atlantic about how bad the worst-case scenarios could get, is drawing new attention to the brutal fights that could jeopardize a final outcome.

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