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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Updated 39 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2:30 p.m. ET: 19,172,505 — Total deaths: 716,327— Total recoveries — 11,608,417Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2:30 p.m. ET: 4,902,692 — Total deaths: 160,394 — Total recoveries: 1,598,624 — Total tests: 59,652,675Map.
  3. Politics: Trump floats executive action even if stimulus deal is reached.
  4. Education: Cuomo says all New York schools can reopen for in-person learning.
  5. Public health: Surgeon general urges flu shots to prevent "double whammy" with coronavirus.
  6. World: Africa records over 1 million coronavirus cases.

General Motors tries to revive incendiary lawsuit vs. Fiat Chrysler

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

General Motors is trying to revive an incendiary lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler Automobiles with explosive new allegations including bribes paid from secret offshore bank accounts and a union official acting as a double agent between the two automotive giants.

Why it matters: The extraordinary legal battle is occurring amid earth-shaking changes in the global auto industry that threaten to turn both litigants into dinosaurs if they aren't nimble enough to pivot to a future where transportation is a service, cars run on electrons and a robot handles the driving.

3 hours ago - Health

Cuomo says all New York schools can reopen for in-person learning

Gov. Cuomo on July 23 in New York City. Photo: Jeenah Moon/Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday that all school districts across the state can choose to reopen for in-person learning because it has so far maintained low enough coronavirus transmission rates.

Why it matters: It’s another sign that the state, once the global epicenter of the pandemic, has — at least for now — successfully curbed the spread of the virus even as infections have surged elsewhere around the country.