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Brett Kavanaugh with Sen. Lisa Murkowski. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

With just two months until the 2018 election, the GOP is taking the Supreme Court fight to voters ahead of the midterms.

The state of play: The Republican National Committee (RNC) is launching a six-figure digital ad buy today directing people to a new website loaded with facts and press about Brett Kavanaugh. They hope to encourage voters to contact their Democratic senators about confirming him.

Why it matters: The final stretch before the midterm election is the most consequential time to get voters motivated to actually show up to the polls. Republicans believe this could be a winning issue for them in November, especially in the Senate.

  • In 2016, 26% of Trump voters said Supreme Court nominees were the most important factor in their 2016 vote, according to exit polls.
  • The primary emphasis of their digital ads will be in the 10 states President Trump won in 2016 that have a Democratic senator up for re-election.

The RNC — in coordination with the White House, Capitol Hill, and outside GOP groups — has already been going all-in on using Kavanaugh to rev up their base.

  • They immediately sent out digital emails and posts about him just minutes after Trump announced his nomination.
  • They've been on the airwaves with Kavanaugh-specific messaging and have incorporated SCOTUS picks into their scripts when knocking on doors.

What they're saying: "We’re going to make sure the American people know about the Democrats’ unprecedented level of resistance" to Kavanaugh, RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel told Axios in a statement.

The bottom line: The GOP knows it needs every vote it can get to confirm Kavanaugh. If he's not confirmed, you'll likely hear a lot more from the GOP about "obstructionist Democrats" who are leading the "resistance."

Go deeper

Updated 2 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Fauci says he accepted Biden's offer to be chief medical adviser "on the spot" — The recovery needs rocket fuel.
  2. Health: CDC: It's time for "universal face mask use" — Death rates rising across the country — Study: Increased testing can reduce transmission.
  3. Economy: U.S. economy adds 245,000 jobs in November as recovery slows — America's hidden depression: K-shaped recovery threatens Biden administration.
  4. Cities: Bay Area counties to enact stay-at-home order ahead of state mandate
  5. Vaccine: What vaccine trials still need to do.
  6. World: UN warns "2021 is literally going to be catastrophic"
  7. 🎧 Podcast: Former FDA chief Rob Califf on the vaccine approval process.
52 mins ago - Health

Bay Area counties to enact stay-at-home order ahead of state mandate

Golden Gate Park. Photo: Justin Sullivan via Getty

Counties around the San Francisco Bay Area will adopt California’s new regional stay-at-home order amid surges in cases and ICU hospitalizations, health officials said Friday.

The big picture: California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a three-week stay-at-home order on Thursday that would go into effect in regions with less than 15% ICU capacity. Despite the Bay Area’s current 25.3% ICU capacity, health officials from Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Santa Clara, San Francisco and the city of Berkeley are moving ahead with a shelter-in-place mandate in the hopes of reducing risk.

2 hours ago - Podcasts

Former FDA chief Rob Califf on the vaccine approval process

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is reviewing two emergency use authorization requests for COVID-19 vaccines, with an outside advisory committee scheduled to meet next Thursday to review data from Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech.

Axios Re:Cap digs in with former FDA commissioner Rob Calif about the EUA process, the science and who should make the final call.

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