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President Trump holds up a MAGA hat in Des Moines, Iowa on Oct. 14. Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

The Trump campaign and Republican National Committee plan to spend an additional $55 million on coordinated ad buys in the remaining two weeks of the 2020 election, campaign manager Bill Stepien told reporters on a Monday call.

What to watch: The campaign and the RNC will jointly target Arizona, Iowa, Wisconsin, North Carolina, and Michigan — all considered critical swing states. RNC chair Ronna McDaniel told reporters on a Monday call that one ad would target Joe Biden's health care plan.

The state of play: Axios' Jonathan Swan reported last week that three senior Trump advisers who recently talked to Stepien walked away believing he thinks they will lose.

  • Despite his pessimistic tone in private conversations, Stepien told reporters on Monday that he is "certain" that President Trump will win Florida, Ohio, Iowa and Nevada.
  • "I don't agree with the Biden campaign about very much, but I do agree with their assertion that this is a close race," Stepien said, referencing a memo on the state of the race by Biden campaign manager Jen O'Malley Dillon.

Go deeper: Democrats are destroying Republicans in a "green tsunami" of fundraising

Go deeper

Murkowski: "It is time to begin the full and formal transition process"

Murkowski leaves the Senate Republicans lunch in September. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) tweeted Sunday, "It is time to begin the full and formal transition process." She called Trump's attempts to overturn President-elect Biden's win "inconsistent with our democratic process."

Why it matters: Only a handful of congressional Republicans have acknowledged Biden as president-elect as Trump and his campaign continue unsuccessful legal challenges in key swing states.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

New deals in the COVID economy

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

COVID-19 is the macro horror of our lifetimes, and has destroyed or severely damaged countless businesses. But, like with most horribles, it also has created some opportunities.

Driving the news: Merck this morning announced an agreement to buy OncoImmune, a Maryland-based biotech that showed promising late-stage clinical results for a therapy that treats severe and critical coronavirus cases.

2 hours ago - Technology

Biden's openings for tech progress

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images 

Item No. 1 on President-elect Joe Biden's day-one tech agenda, controlling the flood of misinformation online, offers no fast fixes — but other tech issues facing the new administration hold out opportunities for quick action and concrete progress.

What to watch: Closing the digital divide will be a high priority, as the pandemic has exposed how many Americans still lack reliable in-home internet connections and the devices needed to work and learn remotely.