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The more you look, the more the Obamacare repeal effort is starting to resemble a mirror image of the turmoil when the law was passed. Remember that in 2009, it started out with fairly broad public support — when it was still at the level of generalities — and it was definitely a top priority for Democratic voters. Then it got less popular, and Democrats had to decide whether to plow through the angry resistance.

Now think about what's been happening over the last few days:

  • The town hall protests against Obamacare repeal have continued, with Reps. Tom Reed, Jim Jordan, and Mark Sanford and Sen. Tim Scott all getting tough questions this weekend about what would happen to sick people. (And Sanford and Scott got these questions in deep-red South Carolina.)
  • Liberal groups are getting organized to keep the town hall protests going, including MoveOn.org and Our Revolution, Jonathan Swan reported this weekend.
  • More polls are showing an uptick in support for the law — this time in Iowa, where a Des Moines Register poll shows people are evenly split over whether the law is a failure or a success. (In October, six out of 10 Iowans said it was a failure.)
  • A smart piece this weekend by the New York Times' Jonathan Martin notes that Republicans are seeing less intensity from Obamacare opponents than they did when President Barack Obama was in office — and they're seeing a lot more intensity from its supporters.

Why it matters: All of these are just data points — they're not going to determine the success or failure of the repeal effort by themselves. But they're a good indication of where the trends are heading: Repeal is not getting more popular as the reality of it gets closer. Republicans may plow ahead to satisfy their voters, just as the Democrats did with Obamacare's passage, but they're learning that they won't just hear from the cheering section as they did for the last seven years.

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  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

Trump impeachment trial to start week of Feb. 8, Schumer says

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: The Washington Post via Getty

The Senate will begin former President Trump's impeachment trial the week of Feb. 8, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Friday on the Senate floor.

The state of play: Schumer announced the schedule after reaching an agreement with Republicans. The House will transmit the article of impeachment against the former president late Monday.

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CDC extends interval between COVID vaccine doses for exceptional cases

Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty

Patients can space out the two doses of the coronavirus vaccine by up to six weeks if it’s "not feasible" to follow the shorter recommended window, according to updated guidance from the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention.

Driving the news: With the prospect of vaccine shortages and a low likelihood that supply will expand before April, the latest changes could provide a path to vaccinate more Americans — a top priority for President Biden.