Mar 14, 2018

Tight Pennsylvania race signals blue wave rising

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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The polarized pandemic election

A Trump supporter protests Pennsylvania's stay-at-home order, during a May 15 rally outside the Capitol in Harrisburg. Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

President Trump is going all-in on pushing for a rapid, robust return to normal life, creating a visual, visceral contrast with Joe Biden and other Democrats who are more reticent to rip the masks off.

The state of play: Business friends have been urging Trump from the beginning to keep the lockdowns short. He's listening more and more.

Tech's long hot summer of antitrust

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Google, Facebook and other tech giants face a summer of regulatory grilling as long-running investigations into potential anticompetitive practices likely come to a head.

The big picture: Probes into the power of Big Tech launched by federal and state authorities are turning a year old, and observers expect action in the form of formal lawsuits and potentially damning reports — even as the companies have become a lifeline for Americans during the pandemic lockdown.

Palantir CEO hits Silicon Valley "monoculture," may leave California

Palantir is "getting close" to a decision on whether to move the company out of California, CEO Alex Karp said in an interview for "Axios on HBO."

The state of play: "We haven't picked a place yet, but it's going to be closer to the East Coast than the West Coast. ... If I had to guess, I would guess something like Colorado."