Jun 13, 2018

Wave watch: Democrats flip another Wisconsin seat Trump won

Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker and President Trump. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Caleb Frostman handed Wisconsin Democrats a major victory in Tuesday night's special state Senate election, flipping a solid red seat in a district President Trump won by double digits in 2016.

Why it matters: This is the 44th Republican state legislative seat Democrats have flipped since President Trump took office, according to the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee.

The bigger picture: While Republicans held onto another vacant seat in the Wisconsin legislature's lower chamber, Democrats managed a repeat of the January special election when they flipped a district that had long been held by Republicans since 2000 and won by Trump.

  • Flashback: Republican Gov. Scott Walker called the earlier victory "a wake up call for Republicans." Liberals later won a 10-year seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court in April, pushing Walker to admit there was a "risk of a #BlueWave in WI."

The backdrop: This comes after the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, a group led by former Attorney General Eric Holder, successfully sued Walker, who refused to call a special election to fill two legislative seats vacated by Republicans who joined his administration last December.

  • Wisconsin is one of many key states Holder's group is targeting as part of a broader effort to scale back Republicans’ sweeping control of the redistricting process ahead of the 2020 census. Republicans there control both legislative chambers — 18-14 in the Senate and a firmer 63-35 in the Assembly.
  • Frostman will be on the ballot again in November for the general election.

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Italy becomes site of largest coronavirus outbreak outside of Asia

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus has spread to more nations as South Korea and Italy step up emergency measures in their countries amid rising case numbers on Sunday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed at least 2,462 people and infected almost 79,000 others, mostly in mainland China. South Korea increased the infectious disease alert to red, the highest possible, as its case numbers jumped to 602 and the death toll to five. Italy's government announced emergency measures as it confirmed a spike from three to 132 cases in matter of days, making it the largest outbreak outside of Asia.

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Iranian state TV: Hardliners win landslide victory in low-turnout election

Photo: Iranian Supreme Leader Press Office/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Iranian state TV announced Sunday that hardliners won a landslide victory in the country's parliamentary elections two days ago, including all 30 seats in Tehran, AP reports.

Why it matters: Voter turnout in the election only reached 42.57%, according to Iran's interior ministry, the first time turnout dipped below 50% since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. The low turnout may signal dissatisfaction with the Iranian government and the election system.

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Coronavirus threatens shortages of about 150 drugs

A medical worker in Beijing. Photo: Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images

About 150 prescription drugs — including antibiotics, generics and some branded drugs without alternatives — are at risk of shortage if the coronavirus outbreak in China worsens, according to two sources familiar with a list of at-risk drugs compiled by the Food and Drug Administration.

Why it matters: China is a huge supplier of the ingredients used to make drugs that are sold in the U.S. If the virus decreases China's production capability, Americans who rely on the drugs made from these ingredients could be in trouble.