Dec 11, 2017

Report: Obama robocalls against Roy Moore in Alabama

Former President Barack Obama is telling voters to vote for Jones ahead of tomorrow's special election.

Barack Obama has reportedly pre-recorded phone messages encouraging Alabama voters to reject Roy Moore ahead of tomorrow's special election, reports CNN. Obama's messages coincide with President Trump's own recorded calls in support of Moore.

The message: "This one's serious. You can't sit it out," Obama says in the call. "Doug Jones is a fighter for equality, for progress. Doug will be our champion for justice. So get out and vote, Alabama." Obama doesn't mention Moore by name.

  • His audience: The calls are "intended to specifically reach black voters," reports CNN, whose turnout could sway the results in Jones' favor.
  • Get smart: This isn't the only special election Obama has gotten involved in. He also campaigned for Democratic gubernatorial candidates in Virginia and New Jersey, both of whom won last month.
  • Go deeper: Politico reports that Joe Biden, who hasn't ruled out a 2020 presidential bid, has also recorded robocalls in support of Jones.

Go deeper

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.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

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.