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Photo: Sylvain Gaboury/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Donald Trump Jr. is preparing to dive into the 2018 midterm elections.

What's next: He wants to use his influence within the Republican base to "expand our majority in the Senate and protect our majority in the House," said a source close to the president's son. Expect Don Jr. to be raising money for Republican candidates and staging rallies.

Behind the scenes: Immediately after the race was called in the West Virginia Senate primary on Tuesday, Don Jr. spoke to Patrick Morrisey to congratulate him on his victory.

  • People briefed on the call said Don Jr. offered to come down and campaign with Morrisey to defeat Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin.
  • Don Jr.'s first trip to West Virginia is expected to be scheduled fairly soon.

Don Jr.'s priority states for midterm Senate races: West Virginia, Missouri, Montana and Indiana.

Between the lines: Those are all states where President Trump has solid approval ratings. A source close to Don Jr. said he believes his brand of "MAGA conservatism" — pro-gun, anti-media, anti-establishment — could make a difference in turning out the base in these states. 

  • Staffing up: Don Jr. has recently brought on Andy Surabian to provide communications and political advice and support. Surabian ran the war room on the Trump campaign, and worked in the White House for Steve Bannon. Surabian parted ways with Bannon in January following the release of Michael Wolff's "Fire and Fury," which included passages that attacked Don Jr. 

Go deeper

2 hours ago - Health

Food banks feel the strain without holiday volunteers

People wait in line at Food Bank Community Kitchen on Nov. 25 in New York City. Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Food Bank For New York City

America's food banks are sounding the alarm during this unprecedented holiday season.

The big picture: Soup kitchens and charities, usually brimming with holiday volunteers, are getting far less help.

4 hours ago - Health

AstraZeneca CEO: "We need to do an additional study" on COVID vaccine

Photo: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said on Thursday the company is likely to start a new global trial to measure how effective its coronavirus vaccine is, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: Following Phase 3 trials, Oxford and AstraZeneca said their vaccine was 90% effective in people who got a half dose followed by a full dose, and 62% effective in people who got two full doses.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus cases rose 10% in the week before Thanksgiving.
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York coronavirus restrictions.
  3. World: Expert says COVID vaccine likely won't be available in Africa until Q2 of 2021 — Europeans extend lockdowns.
  4. Economy: The winners and losers of the COVID holiday season.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.