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

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3 dead and thousands evacuated as Northern California fires explode

A building at the Meadowood Napa Valley luxury resort burns after the Glass Fire moved through the area on September 28, 2020 in St. Helena, California. Photo: by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Three people have died in a wildfire in Northern California and tens of thousands were evacuated across the state, as firefighters contended with strong winds and dry conditions that saw blazes explode across the state on Monday.

Driving the news: Shasta County Sheriff Eric Magrini confirmed the deaths occurred as the Zogg Fire spread across 15,000 acres, forcing the evacuation of 1,200 people. More than for 5o,000 people, per AP.

Updated 28 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 33,273,720 — Total deaths: 1,000,555 — Total recoveries: 23,056,480Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 7,147,241 — Total deaths: 205,031 — Total recoveries: 2,794,608 — Total tests: 102,342,416Map.
  3. Business: Companies are still holding back earnings guidance.
  4. Health: Trump announces plan to distribute 150 million rapid tests —The childless vaccine.
  5. Media: Fauci: Some of what Fox News reports about COVID-19 is "outlandish"
  6. States: Cuomo extends New York moratorium on evictions until 2021.
  7. World: More than 1 million people have now died from coronavirus — India the second country after U.S. to hit 6 million cases.
Dave Lawler, author of World
46 mins ago - World

Global coronavirus death toll crosses 1 million

Data: Our World in Data; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

The global toll of confirmed deaths from COVID-19 crossed 1 million on Monday, according to data from Johns Hopkins.

By the numbers: More than half of those deaths have come in four countries: the U.S. (204,762), Brazil (141,741), India (95,542) and Mexico (76,430). The true global death toll is likely far higher.

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