Charles Koch speaks at the network's 2018 winter seminar. Photo: Seminar Network.

The Koch network will engage early in what it sees as difficult elections for the GOP in 2018; the plan is to start with advertising, then ramp up their grassroots efforts the second half of the year. Koch had earlier announced plans to spend up to $400 million, its largest investment in midterms ever.

Why this matters: This shows how seriously the network is taking 2018 and just how vulnerable GOP control of Washington and states governments is. The network has already identified competitive races it'll be active in and candidates it'll be supporting.

Koch has deemed 14 Senate races are as competitive, and these four states have a candidate meeting the network's criteria:

  • Wisconsin, challenging Sen. Tammy Baldwin
  • Indiana, challenging Sen. Joe Donnelly
  • Missouri, challenging Sen. Claire McCaskill
  • Florida, challenging Sen. Bill Nelson

House races: Specific strategies will develop later, but as Americans for Prosperity president Tim Phillips said, “2010 is similar to 2018, with one big difference: This year, we’re on defense.”

State races: The network is analyzing 15 gubernatorial races and has already identified five with candidates meeting their criteria: Nevada, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan and Florida.

Go deeper

Florida fully lifts coronavirus restrictions on restaurants

Photo: Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced Friday the state will completely reopen its economy, allowing restaurants at operate full capacity and barring localities from ordering businesses to close.

Why it matters: The state became one of the world's epicenters for the virus in July, forcing DeSantis to pause its first round of reopening.

2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Eyeing the end of gas-powered cars

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Gasoline-powered cars may be going the way of the woolly mammoth, even if it will take decades to replace them and seems hard to fathom today.

The big picture: Internal combustion engines (ICEs) have powered automobiles for more than 100 years. But the shift to electric vehicles, slow to materialize at first, is now accelerating due to tightening government policies, falling costs and a societal reckoning about climate change.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam tests positive for coronavirus

Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) and his wife, Pamela, both tested positive for coronavirus, his office announced on Friday.

The state of play: The Northams were tested after one of their staff "who works closely within the couple's living quarters" tested positive. The governor is asymptomatic, while his wife is "experiencing mild symptoms." They plan to isolate at home for 10 days.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!