May 30, 2018

Midterm ads highlight partisan disconnect on the issues

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

"House Republican candidates are blanketing the airwaves with TV ads embracing a hard line on immigration — a dramatic shift from the midterm elections in 2014," USA Today reports.

Why it matters: "The competing messages demonstrate how far apart the two parties are. They’re not just talking about issues differently; they’re touting completely different issues to motivate activists and win hotly contested primaries."

  • "Republicans have aired more than 14,000 campaign ads touting a tough Trump-style immigration platform this year," according to a USA Today analysis of data from Kantar Media.
  • "Democratic candidates have focused overwhelmingly on health in their advertising, running more than 26,000 ads on the subject. Of those, more than 8,500 Democratic spots promise to protect or expand Medicare."
  • In 2014, immigration "was not among the top 10 issues Republicans spent their ad dollars on at this point ... In that cycle, GOP contenders attacked President Obama, bashing the Affordable Care Act and promising to rein in government spending."

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Coronavirus cases rise, as more Americans on cruise confirmed ill

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's NHC; Note: China refers to mainland China and the Diamond Princess is the cruise ship offshore Yokohama, Japan. Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

A U.S. public health official confirms more than 40 Americans on the Diamond Princess cruise ship off Japan have coronavirus, while the remaining U.S. citizens without symptoms are being evacuated.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 1,770 people and infected almost 70,000 others. Most cases and all but five of the deaths have occurred in mainland China. Taiwan confirmed its first death on Sunday, per multiple reports, in a 61-year-old man with underlying health conditions. Health officials were investigating how he became ill.

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Scoop: Inside the Trump campaign's big hedge on Facebook

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The Trump campaign has invested most of its advertising budget to date on Facebook, testing thousands of versions of ads per day to maximize its spending.

But behind the scenes, a source familiar with the campaign tells Axios, the thinking has shifted: "As everyone can see, we still have strong spending on Facebook, but the percentage of our total media budget [on Facebook] is shrinking."

Trump's revenge tour has the House in its sights

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Saul Loeb/Getty Contributor

In the lead-up to the 2018 midterm elections — buoyed by Republican control of both chambers — President Trump viewed campaigning for the House as a lower-tier priority and instead poured his energy into rallying for the Senate.

But after the GOP reckoning in 2018, and experiencing firsthand how damaging a Democratic-led House has been to him, Trump is now personally invested in helping Republicans regain the majority in November, several people familiar with his thinking tell Axios.