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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

Updated 15 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Inauguration Day dashboard

U.S. Capitol and stage are lit at sunrise ahead of the inauguration of Joe Biden. Photo: Patrick Semansky - Pool/Getty Images

President Biden has delivered his inaugural address at the Capitol, calling for an end to the politics as total war but warning that "we have far to go" to heal the country.

What's next: Biden, Harris and nearly all the living former presidents and their spouses lay a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery.

Inaugural address: Biden vows to be "a president for all Americans"

Moments after taking the oath of office, President Biden sought to soothe a nation riven by political divisions and a global pandemic, while warning that "we have far to go" to heal the country and defeat a "virus that silently stalks the the country."

Why it matters: From the same steps that a pro-Trump mob launched an assault on Congress two weeks earlier, the new president paid deference to the endurance of American political institutions.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

In photos: The Biden and Harris inauguration

Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president of the United States. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were inaugurated as president and vice president respectively in a ceremony at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday morning.

Why it matters: Top Democrats and Republicans gathered for the peaceful transfer of power only two weeks after an unprecedented siege on the building by Trump supporters to disrupt certification of Biden's victory. Trump did not attend Wednesday's ceremony.

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