President Trump and RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel at a fundraising breakast. Photo: Mandel Ngan / Getty

The Republican National Committee launched a six-figure campaign this weekend targeting 2.6 million voters in midterm battleground states with Democratic senators — Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. The campaign blames Democrats for the government shutdown.

Why it matters: The GOP has raised a record amount of money, and is already using it to get involved in a few specific, crucial midterm races. This comes after Republicans lost ground in special elections last week in Wisconsin, Idaho and South Carolina, on top of the Virginia and Alabama losses last year. 

From the call script: "Senator Brown recklessly voted to shut down the United States government. Endangering our military servicemen and women and jeopardizing the health of children across the nation."

"For the Democrats who choose once again to jeopardize government funding, November is going to be a wake-up call."
— RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel to Axios in a statement

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Competitors ready to pounce on TikTok bans

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Growing security and privacy concerns over Chinese-owned short-video app TikTok have given a lift to alternatives like Byte and Dubsmash, which have seen spikes in downloads from smartphone users recently, according to data from SensorTower.

Why it matters: If TikTok's meteoric rise in popularity among U.S. youth gets slowed by rising tensions with China, or ended by a threatened ban by the Trump administration, American teens will still have to get their hits of meme-laden video somewhere.

37 mins ago - Technology

U.S. pushes homegrown drone industry amid China battle

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Alarmed at the prospect of relying on Chinese-made drones for public safety and monitoring critical industries, U.S. investors and the federal government are newly backing a domestic drone industry of hardware and software companies.

The big picture: The moves come as the industry continues to be led by DJI, a Chinese hardware maker — and as concerns grow both in China and the U.S. about reliance on the other country's technology.

Exclusive: The N.Y. Times doubles down on TV and film ambitions

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

One of the country's oldest and most established media companies is starting to look more like a Hollywood studio than a traditional newspaper.

Driving the news: The New York Times has 10 scripted TV show projects in development, as well as 3 feature documentaries coming out this year and several other documentary projects in development and production, executives tell Axios.