Trump at his recent Ohio rally. Photo: Jeff Swensen/Getty Images

President Trump uses internal polling and approval rating data from the Republican National Committee to decide where to hold his midterm rallies — including one held just before Ohio's special election, a GOP official with knowledge of the data sharing told Axios.

Why it matters: This is the first look inside the data that gives Trump part of his power over the primaries. He knows how to energize his Republican base, but pushing long-shot candidates over the finish line only works if he's in the right place and speaking to the right people.

Republicans believe this data helped Troy Balderson achieve his narrow lead in the Ohio special election — because it's the reason Trump held a crucial rally in Delaware County shortly before election day. (Balderson declared victory, but his Democratic opponent, Danny O'Connor, hasn't conceded.)

“Once President Trump says ‘go’, we use RNC data to pinpoint the best place to hold a rally," Brad Parscale, Trump's 2020 campaign manager, told Axios. "[W]e’re replicating it across the country as we head to November.”

How it works: The RNC shares this information with the White House political operation team and his 2020 re-election team when the president has picked a state to visit.

  • In Ohio, early and absentee voting put Balderson up by 135 votes in that county before election day, their data showed. And Trump has a 52% approval rating there — three points higher than the vote share Balderson was getting — so they considered that their best pickup opportunity.
  • After Trump’s visit last Saturday, Balderson won Delaware County by 5,000 votes.
  • The RNC data predicted Balderson would win by 1% (48-47% over Danny O'Connor). His actual lead based on unofficial election returns: 0.8%.

Go deeper: Inside Trump's frenetic rally schedule.

Go deeper

13 hours ago - Health

15 states broke single-day coronavirus records this week

Data: Compiled from state health departments by Axios; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

At least 15 states broke their single-day novel coronavirus infection records this week, according to state health department data reviewed by Axios.

The big picture: The number of coronavirus cases increased in the vast majority of states over the last week, and decreased in only two states plus the District of Columbia, Axios' Andrew Withershoop and Caitlin Owens report.

Updated 13 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 11,143,945 — Total deaths: 527,681 — Total recoveries — 6,004,593Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 2,818,588 — Total deaths: 129,584 — Total recoveries: 883,561 — Total tested: 34,213,497Map.
  3. States: Photos of America's pandemic July 4 ICU beds in Arizona's hot spot reach near capacity.
  4. Public health: U.S. coronavirus infections hit record highs for 3 straight days.
  5. Politics: Trump extends PPP application deadlineKimberly Guilfoyle tests positive.
  6. World: Mexican leaders call for tighter border control as infections rise in U.S.
  7. Sports: 31 MLB players test positive as workouts resume.
  8. 1 📽 thing: Drive-in movie theaters are making a comeback.
14 hours ago - Health

In photos: America celebrates July 4 during global pandemic

Photo: Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images

The U.S. has already celebrated Easter, graduations and so much more during the coronavirus pandemic, and now it can add July 4 to the list.

The state of play: Axios' Stef Kight writes public parades and fireworks displays around much of the country are being canceled to prevent mass gatherings where the virus could spread. Hot-dog contests and concerts will play to empty stands and virtual audiences — all while American pride treads an all-time low.