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Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

The Trump campaign is launching a new "eight-figure" advertising campaign this week that focuses, in part, on recovering President Trump's standing among senior citizens, according to top officials.

Why it matters: Senior citizens are the most reliable voting bloc and they formed the core of Trump's political base in 2016. But that's no longer the case.

  • One of the most important electoral trends of 2020 — a development that deeply concerns Trump advisers — is that many seniors have left Trump for Joe Biden. According to recent public polls, Biden has built up a 20-point lead over the president among voters aged 65 and older.

Behind the scenes: On a call Monday morning, senior Trump campaign officials were asked whether there was a path to 270 electoral votes without Trump receiving the strong support from seniors that he enjoyed in 2016.

  • Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien responded, "You're seeing really good, really strong advertising that we're out of the box with this week that has tremendous appeal to seniors."
  • "We know that, it's been tested, test off the charts, messaging that seniors want to see and it's being delivered to them. So whatever perceived slippage you're seeing in your numbers among seniors, I'm absolutely certain that it will be addressed."

After the call, Trump senior adviser Jason Miller sent me some examples of these ads that "test off the charts" with seniors and will be running in battleground states this week.

  • The first ad, "Carefully," defends Trump's handling of COVID-19 — a key concern for older voters. The ad features a clip of the government's top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci saying, "I can't imagine that ... anybody could be doing more." (Fauci has said that the campaign took his words out of context and that he didn't consent to appearing in the ad.)
  • The other ads, "Who's Better" and "Real Leadership," attack Biden on Social Security and Medicare, prescription drug costs, support for veterans, and his handling of terrorism, among other issues.

Between the lines: In response to the question about Trump's weak support among seniors, Stepien said, "I'm absolutely sure that there are some votes that we won't perform as well among in certain parts of the country or among certain voting populations."

  • "But I'm more than certain," Stepien added, "that those are going to be offset by gains in certain voting populations, Black, Hispanic and others, based on the president's appeal, policies and the outreach he's been conducting for the last four years."
  • Miller said the Trump campaign was also running ads this week on national networks that reach out to the African American and Hispanic communities.

The big picture: Miller said the campaign has bought national broadcast and cable advertising but will also be running targeted campaigns in 10 battleground states: Arizona, Pennsylvania, Florida, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Georgia, Minnesota, Michigan, Nevada and Maine's 2nd Congressional District.

  • Trump, who only 11 days ago announced that he tested positive for the coronavirus, is booked for a heavy week of campaign travel starting in Florida tonight.
  • "The president is eager to get back out there," Miller said. "The president even this morning in our morning conversation was getting on my case for not having enough rallies and public events scheduled."
  • "I expect to see him out there, at least in the short term, two to three events a day. That will even grow as we get closer to Election Day."

Go deeper

Off the Rails

Last stand in Georgia

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Drew Angerer, Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

On Air Force One, President Trump was in a mood. He had been clear he did not want to return to Georgia, and yet somehow he'd been conscripted into another rally on the night of Jan. 4.

6th victim dies following South Carolina shooting

Jack Logan, founder of Put Down the Guns Young People, places stuffed animals and flowers outside of Riverview Family Medicine and Urgent Care on Friday after the fatal shooting in Rock Hill, South Carolina, a day earlier. Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

The only survivor of this week's mass shooting in South Carolina by former NFL player Phillip Adams has died of his injuries, authorities said Saturday.

Details: Robert Shook, 38, an air conditioning technician from Cherryville, North Carolina, died of gunshot wounds from Wednesday's shooting at a doctor's home in Rock Hill, S.C., which claimed the lives of five other victims.

2 hours ago - World

In photos: Egypt unveils 3,000-year-old "lost golden city"

A view on Saturday of the city, dubbed "The Rise of Aten," dating to the reign of Amenhotep III, uncovered near Luxor. Photo: Khaled Desouki/AFP via Getty Images

A top Egyptian archaeologist on Saturday outlined details of a newly rediscovered "lost golden city" near Luxor that dates back more than 3,000 years.

Why it matters: Zahi Hawass told NBC News the large ancient city, unveiled Thursday, tells archaeologists for the first time "about the life of the people during the Golden Age." Johns Hopkins University Egyptology professor Betsy Brian said in a statement it's "the second most important archeological discovery since the tomb of Tutankhamen."