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Joe Biden, believing President Trump is suddenly vulnerable with military voters, goes up today with an ad called "Knock On The Door," featuring retired Air force Brigadier General John Douglass, a former casualty notification officer.

  • Douglass — who grew up in Florida, and now splits time between Virginia and Florida — used to deliver the dreaded "knock on the door" to military families, letting them know their loved one had made the ultimate sacrifice.
  • Douglass, referring to accusations — which Trump disputes — in a widely covered article by The Atlantic, says in the ad: "These military families suffer, and those spouses are not suckers. And those children are not losers."

What I'm hearing: The Biden campaign argues that reports of Trump privately disparaging service members have broken through with everyday people who don't follow, or don't care about, other Trump scandals.

  • A poll of registered voters in military households by Politico/Morning Consult found an astonishing 73% had heard the reports.

The ad will air on TV and digital platforms in Arizona, Florida, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Wisconsin — targeting media markets and areas with a high number of military households and veterans.

  • Biden ads remain active in a total of 10 states — the ones above plus Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Nebraska, and Minnesota. 

The other side: Trump has denied the accusations by The Atlantic, as have many current and former aides. A key figure in the article — retired Marine general John Kelly, a former Trump chief of staff — hasn't spoken publicly about it.

  • Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh told me: "Servicemen and women know that President Trump restored the military to its rightful strength and fixed the scandalous problems at VA hospitals."
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Go deeper

Scoop: Trump's frenetic, fanciful, bitter final plea

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Joshua Roberts/Getty Images

Right up to Monday's Electoral College vote, President Trump held the false hope that Republican-controlled state legislatures would replace electors with allies who'd overturn Joe Biden's win, two people who discussed the matter with him told Axios.

The big picture: Through the past week, the sources said, the president browbeat GOP legislators in multiple states, launched tirades against Republican Govs. Doug Ducey of Arizona and Brian Kemp of Georgia, vowed to make Fox News "pay" for accurately calling the race, and tested ways to say he didn't win without acknowledging he had lost.

Updated Dec 15, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Electoral College affirms Biden's victory

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President-elect Biden officially received the majority of Electoral College votes on Monday, further solidifying his victory even though the outcome of the election has been known for weeks.

Why it matters: The Electoral College result affirms Biden as the next president after weeks of President Trump's false accusations that the election was stolen from him, dozens of failed legal challenges from the Trump campaign, and protests threatening the safety of states' electors.

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Axios subject-matter experts brief you on the incoming administration's plans and team.