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Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) told CNBC on Friday that the GOP could face "a bloodbath of Watergate proportions" on Election Day if voters are feeling "depressed" about the economy and the pandemic.

The state of play: President Trump has sought to use the economy as a pivoting point from the pandemic throughout his re-election campaign. But if that pitch fails, it could spell trouble for Republicans.

  • Several GOP senators are facing tough re-election bids, including Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Joni Earnst (R-Iowa) and Susan Collins (R-Maine).

What he's saying: "I am worried. It’s volatile, it’s highly volatile ... if people are going back to work, if they’re optimistic, if they’re positive about the future, we could see a fantastic election — the president getting reelected with a big margin, Republicans winning both Houses of Congress and I think that’s a real possibility," Cruz said.

  • "But I also think if on Election Day people are angry and they’ve given up hope and they’re depressed, which is what [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi and [Senate Minority Leader Chuck] Schumer want them to be, I think it could be a terrible election. I think we could lose the White House and both houses of Congress, that it could be a bloodbath of Watergate proportions."

Go deeper

It's still Trump's party

Data: Axios research, ProPublica. (Non-voting members excluded). Graphic: Michelle McGhee and Sara Wise/Axios

He lied about the election being fixed. He incited an attack that left five dead at the U.S Capitol. He got impeached. Twice. But polling indicates Republicans still have his back — and views — by vast majorities.

Why it matters: Anyone who thinks Trump is a politically dead man walking appears pointedly dead wrong.

Capitol assault only one reason Trump impeached

A television in the White House briefing room shows the near-final impeachment vote against President Trump. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Trump didn't earn his historic second impeachment just by inciting a riot on a single day. He laid its foundation event by event during the two months preceding it.

Why it matters: Uneasiness built to rage among some Republicans as the president challenged the election results, blocked important legislative accomplishments and cost the party its hold on the Senate.

"Atmospheric river" swings Northern California from drought to flood

Satellite view of the bomb cyclone swirling off the coast of the Pacific Northwest and the atmospheric river affecting California on Oct. 24. Photo: CIRA/RAMMB

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are delivering historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest.

Why it matters: The atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, was causing Northern California to whiplash from drought to flood, as it slowly moved south overnight. It's triggered widespread power outages, flooding and mudslides.