Jan 31, 2017

Supreme Court pick to be backed by $10m campaign

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Immediately following Donald Trump's Supreme Court announcement tonight, a well-funded network will air its first ads pressuring vulnerable Democratic Senators who are up for re-election in 2018 into voting for the President's nominee.

Conservative operative Greg Mueller tells us the Judicial Crisis Network will launch phase one of its $10 million effort and the ads will be seen "within two minutes of the announcement." (And remember the announcement at 8pm tonight will be on prime-time television and carried by the broadcast networks.)

The first round of ads will focus on Missouri, Indiana, North Dakota, Montana and D.C.

Top targets:

  1. Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri (a state Trump won by 19)
  2. Senator Joe Donnelly of Indiana (a state Trump won by 19)
  3. Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota (a state Trump won by 36)
  4. Senator Jon Tester of Montana (a state Trump won by 20)

Why it matters: Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell doesn't want to turn to the so called "nuclear-option to change Senate rules and ram through a court pixk with with 51 votes instead of 60. So to get to 60, McConnell needs to swing eight Democrats, and he'll be relying on well-funded outside groups to help.

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U.S. coronavirus updates: Death toll surpasses 14,800

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The novel coronavirus has now killed more than 2,000 people for the second day in a row, and it's infected more than 432,000 others, per Johns Hopkins data.

Where it stands: More than 14,800 people have died of COVID-19 in the U.S. — including over 4,500 in New York. The state's death toll surged to its highest one-day total on Wednesday — beating the previous day's record. 779 people died in New York in 24 hours. N.Y. has reported more cases than the most-affected countries in Europe.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Health

World coronavirus updates: U.K. PM "stable, improving" in intensive care

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is "stable, improving, sat up and engaged with medical staff" in the intensive care unit of London's St. Thomas' Hospital, where he is being treated for the coronavirus, Culture Minister Oliver Dowden told the BBC Thursday.

Zoom in: The update comes as ministers meet to discuss whether to extend the United Kingdom's lockdown and after the country's health officials reported Wednesday the highest daily rise in COVID-19 deaths — 938, taking the total to over 7,300. London Mayor said Wednesday the U.K. is "nowhere near lifting the lockdown," with the virus not expected to peak there until next week.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 1,484,811 — Total deaths: 88,538 — Total recoveries: 329,876Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 432,132 — Total deaths: 14,817 — Total recoveries: 23,906Map.
  3. Federal government latest: Top Trump administration officials had been developing a plan to give cloth masks to huge numbers of Americans, but the idea lost traction amid heavy internal skepticism.
  4. States latest: New York has reported more cases than the most-affected countries in Europe. Chicago's Cook County jail is largest-known source of coronavirus in U.S.
  5. Business: One-third of U.S. jobs are at risk of disappearing, mostly affecting low-income workers.
  6. World: WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged countries to put politics aside "if you don’t want to have many more body bags.”
  7. Environment: COVID-19 is underscoring the connection between air pollution and dire outcomes from respiratory diseases.
  8. Tech: A new report recommends stimulus spending to help close the digital divide revealed by social distancing.
  9. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  10. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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