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Democrat Conor Lamb claimed victory against Republican candidate Rick Saccone, but many news outlets report the race as too close to call. Photo: Drew Angerer / Getty Images

NBC News declares Democrat Conor Lamb the apparent winner in a special U.S. House election in western Pennsylvania, the heart of Trump country, a blow to the White House and the Republican Party.

Why it matters: Regardless of the ultimate winner, it was a humiliating and sobering night for the GOP. This a district President Trump won by 20 points. The Democratic energy and Republican depression signal a brutal midterm season and the increasingly likely return of Speaker Pelosi.

  • A recount is possible, and AP says the race is still too close to call.
  • Lamb, a Marine veteran, claimed victory over Republican Rick Saccone, telling exuberant supporters after midnight: "Mission accepted."
  • Fox News politics editor Chris Stirewalt: "It's more than a ripple. It might be a wave."
  • CNN's Dana Bash says this result may lead to more Republican retirements from Congress, as lawmakers realize the strength of this year's headwinds.

Be smart: In race after race, Democrats are consistently topping their performance in previous elections (often by double-digit margins), the surest sign of sustained momentum and a possible November wave. 

  • Go deeper: Republicans fear the House is slipping away fast.
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Go deeper

2 hours ago - Health

Government website for free COVID tests launches early

COVID-19 rapid at-home test kits. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

The website where Americans can request free, at-home rapid COVID-19 tests from the government launched Tuesday and is now accepting orders.

Driving the news: The website went live in its beta phase and is operating at a limited capacity a day before its official launch. Every home in the U.S. is eligible for up to four COVID tests, according to the website.

AT&T, Verizon extend 5G delay over airline panic

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

AT&T and Verizon said Tuesday they would delay lighting up its 5G signals near a limited number of airports after renewed opposition from the aviation industry over concerns about signal interference.

Why it matters: The CEOs of leading airlines warned of catastrophic disruption to flights if AT&T and Verizon deployed 5G as planned this week.

Updated 3 hours ago - World

Ukraine crisis: Blinken to visit Kyiv, then meet Russian foreign minister

Photo: Russian Foreign Ministry/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Secretary of State Antony Blinken will meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Geneva on Friday, following a trip to Kyiv to reinforce U.S. support for Ukraine in the face of a possible Russian invasion, according to a senior U.S. official.

Why it matters: The meeting with Lavrov suggests a diplomatic resolution to the crisis may still be on the table, despite the collapse of security talks between Russia and the West last week.