Jose Luis Magana / AP

Upshot's Nate Cohn digs under the data showing that Trump enters as an unprecedentedly unpopular president.

Perhaps Trump is, indeed, "a historically weak political figure who benefited from historically weak opposition. The other possibility is that there's something about Mr. Trump's appeal that's not captured in the traditional approval ratings or the character questions.

"One piece of evidence seems consistent with this possibility: the seeming optimism about his presidency … [T]he most recent CNN poll says that just 40 percent of adults approve of his performance, but … 61 percent say that he'll bring back well-paying jobs to economically depressed areas."

Sound smart: Applying traditional metrics to Trump means we haven't learned anything in the past 19 months. What those numbers tell me is that voters are pessimistic about Trump's ability/willingness to do the job, but more bullish about his big themes. That's easier for him to fix than if it were the other way around. He has a low bar to clear to be seen as competent in the job, and lots of room for surprise to the upside.

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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.