Mar 17, 2017

Deep-pocketed GOP group takes first shot at Joe Manchin

It's not even April yet, but welcome to the start of the 2018 election cycle.

Constituents who attend Senator Joe Manchin's town hall in Morgantown, West Virginia, tomorrow will find anti-Manchin messages popping up on their social media feeds.

The group behind it: Senate Leadership Fund, a group with close ties to Mitch McConnell that spent (together with its sister group) more than $160 million in the 2016 cycle. That's by far the most of any Republican outside group.

What's interesting about this ad: Forget the spend. It's tiny — only a five-figure buy, we're told. What's interesting is the message, which foreshadows a Republican strategy to defeat this red state Democrat. The digital ad, entitled "Fooled," attacks Manchin for supporting Hillary Clinton. She's loathed by West Virginians and made one of the worst gaffes of the campaign when she said she'd be putting a lot of coal miners out of work.

Bottom line: Republicans will seek to undermine Manchin's efforts to cozy up to Trump in a state where the President remains supremely popular.

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Deadly clashes erupt in Delhi ahead of Trump's visit

Rival protesters over the Citizenship Amendment Act in Delhi, India, on Monday. Photo: Yawar Nazir/ Getty Images

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal called for calm Tuesday as deadly clashes erupted in the city's northeast between supporters and opponents of India's controversial new citizenship law.

Why it matters: Per the BBC, a police officer and six civilians "died in the capital's deadliest day" since last year's passing of the Citizenship Amendment Act — which allows religious minorities but excludes Muslims from nearby countries to become citizens if they can show they were persecuted for their religion — hours before President Trump and members of the U.S. first family were due to visit the city as part of their visit to India.

Go deeper: India's citizenship bill continues Modi's Hindu nationalist offensive

South Carolina paper The State backs Buttigieg for Democratic primary

Democratic presidential candidate and former South Bend Pete Buttigieg speaks at an event in Charleston, South Carolina on Monday. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

South Carolina newspaper The State endorsed former Southbend Mayor Pete Buttigieg on Monday night for the state's Democratic primary.

Why it matters: It's a welcome boost for Buttigieg ahead of Tuesday's Democratic debate in South Carolina and the state's primary on Saturday.

White House requests $2.5 billion to fight coronavirus as U.S. cases rise

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The Trump administration sent a letter to Congress Monday requesting a funding commitment of at least $2.5 billion to help combat the spread of the novel coronavirus, as the number of confirmed cases in the U.S. rose to 53.

The big picture: As South Korea and Italy stepped up emergency measures in efforts to thwart the spread of the virus, WHO expressed concern about infections with no clear link to China. COVID-19 has killed at least 2,699 people and infected more than 80,000 others, with all but 27 deaths occurring in mainland China.

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