Courtesy of The Big Tent Project

The Big Tent Project, a Democratic political group focused on promoting moderate presidential candidates, has sent hundreds of thousands of mailers bashing Bernie Sanders to black voters in South Carolina who voted in the state's 2016 primary.

Why it matters: Sanders' rise to the top of the pack, as dueling moderate candidates split their side of the vote, is worrying many in the Democratic political establishment who fear a socialist can't beat President Trump.

  • Sanders' triumph in Nevada, after rising to the lead in Iowa and New Hampshire, creates the very real potential that Sanders will be the Democratic nominee.

What's next: His performance in South Carolina will test whether his appeal with young voters also translates to black voters — and deprives Joe Biden of votes critical to his campaign’s survival.

Courtesy of The Big Tent Project

The details: The mailers, which will go to 215,000 people and cost roughly $100,000, charge that several of Sanders' most ambitious policy proposals — such as free college tuition — are unrealistic and wildly expensive.

  • They also assert that "Trump will crush Bernie on taxes and spending" and conclude: "Nominating Bernie means we re-elect Trump."
  • The Sanders campaign did not respond to requests for a comment.

The big picture: This mailer is one piece of the efforts by Big Tent — a 501(c)(4) — (C4s are able to mask their donors).

  • It has another $700K at its disposal to target various South Carolina voters before the Feb. 29 primary, the last before the multi-state Super Tuesday contests on March 3.
  • Big Tent dropped $200k on two ads in Nevada, Politico first reported, as part of a test run in their campaign to cripple Sanders' ahead of the Feb. 22 caucuses.
  • The group’s executive director is Jonathan Kott, a former top aide to Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.).

Go deeper

Robert Mueller speaks out on Roger Stone commutation

Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller testifies before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on Capitol Hill on Wednesday July 24, 2019. Photo: The Washington Post / Contributor

Former special counsel Robert Mueller responded to claims from President Trump and his allies that Roger Stone was a "victim" in the Justice Department's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, writing in a Washington Post op-ed published Saturday: "He remains a convicted felon, and rightly so."

Why it matters: The rare public comments by Mueller come on the heels of President Trump's move to commute the sentence of his longtime associate, who was sentenced in February to 40 months in prison for crimes stemming from the Russia investigation. The controversial decision brought an abrupt end to the possibility of Stone spending time behind bars.

Trump dons face mask during Walter Reed visit

Trump wearing a face mask in Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on July 11. Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump wore a face mask during his Saturday visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, according to AP.

Why it matters: This is the first known occasion the president has appeared publicly with a facial covering as recommended by health officials since the coronavirus pandemic began, AP writes.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5:30 p.m. ET: 12,607,510 — Total deaths: 562,338 — Total recoveries — 6,948,863Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 5:30 p.m. ET: 3,228,884 — Total deaths: 134,600 — Total recoveries: 983,185 — Total tested: 38,919,421Map.
  3. Public health: Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter: "Please wear a mask to save lives" Fauci hasn't briefed Trump on the coronavirus pandemic in at least two months — We're losing the war on the coronavirus.
  4. Food: How the coronavirus pandemic boosted alternative meat.
  5. Sports: Charge of "money grab" by college football.
  6. World: India reimposes lockdowns as coronavirus cases soar.