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DNC Chairman Tom Perez. Photo: George Frey/Getty Images

The Democratic National Committee is launching Team Blue, a program that makes it easier for people to volunteer on campaigns at every level, hoping to increase their visibility to voters as much as possible in the next two months.

Why it matters: Democrats are tapping into the online activism and organizing that has mobilized their base since President Trump took office — and they think it may move the needle for them in November.

The DNC's Team Blue is partnering with five progressive groups to launch this program. They'll also encourage people to volunteer through Swing Left's "The Last Weekend" initiative, which focuses on the four days before the midterm election.

  • Their main goal is to help campaigns — from state legislature to U.S. Senate races — get as many volunteers as they need in order to contact as many voters as possible before Nov. 6.

The other side: The Republican National Committee has deployed more people on the ground this cycle than ever before. They have staffers and volunteers in over 150 congressional districts, and they say they've contacted over 28 million voters so far.

The bottom line: The DNC's view is that investing in putting people on the ground — not spending money on TV ads — is what's most effective in the final stretch before the midterms.

Go deeper

U.S. ambassador to Russia will return home briefly: State Department

John Sullivan, U.S. Ambassador to Russia, during a briefing in Moscow in 2015. Photo: Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS via Getty Images

The State Department said Monday that the U.S. ambassador to Russia, John Sullivan, will now be returning to the United States this week before returning to Moscow "in the coming weeks."

Why this matters: The statement, from a State Department spokesperson, comes just hours after Axios reported that Sullivan had indicated he intended to stand his ground and stay in Russia after the Kremlin “advised” him to return home to talk with his team.

Scoop: Leaked Ukraine memo reveals scope of Russia's aggression

Russian President Vladimir Putin visits a military exposition in Sevastopol, Crimea, in Jan. 2020. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Russia has been holding last-minute military exercises near commercial shipping lanes in the Black Sea that threaten to strangle Ukraine's economy, according to an internal document from Ukraine's ministry of defense reviewed by Axios.

Why it matters: With the eyes of the world on the massive buildup of troops in eastern Ukraine, the leaked memo shows Russian forces escalating their presence on all sides of the Ukrainian border.

Elon Musk: Autopilot feature wasn't enabled in fatal Texas crash

Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted on Monday that "data logs recovered so far" show the car's Autopilot feature was not enabled — and it did not have access to "full self-driving mode" — in the deadly crash in Texas involving the company's electric vehicle.

Background: Local investigators said they believed the car was operating without anyone in the driver's seat. At the time of death, one man was in the passenger seat, while another was in the rear seat, KPRC 2 reports.