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Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) (3rd L) answers reporters' questions during a news conference with other House GOP leaders. Photo: Chip Somodevilla via Getty Images

Republicans are banking on hyper-local messages in 2018 to keep control of the House, The Washington Post's James Hohmann reports.

Why it matters: Returning to a localized message — which Dems tried to do in 2010 and failed — could also be impossible in the Trump era when lawmakers and candidates are forced to answer for every national controversy coming out of Washington.

What they're saying:

  • GOP candidates are cracking down on opioids in Syracuse, New York, and they're focused on a salmon hatchery in Seattle.
  • In the Central Valley of California, Republicans will push repeal of the gas tax. In the Philly suburbs, they're talking about cleaning contaminated water wells.
  • Houston-area voters will be reminded of when Rep. John Culberson urged Congress to approve Hurricane Harvey relief funds.
  • This strategy worked for Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, who talked about algae blooms when campaigning in Toledo, WashPost notes, instead of talking about the “Access Hollywood” tape. Portman won the state by 21 points.

The bottom line: Republicans are targeting 34 districts with tailored messages — all of which are crucial in determining whether Dems pick up the 23 seats they need to flip the House.

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - World

U.S. releases report finding Saudi prince approved Khashoggi operation

Photo: Bandar Algaloud / Saudi Kingdom Council / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) has released an unclassified report assessing that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) approved the operation to "capture or kill" Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.

Driving the news: The White House also announced sanctions on entities implicated in the murder, though not on MBS directly. Officials also announced a new "Khashoggi ban" under which individuals accused of harassing journalists or dissidents outside their borders can be barred from entering the U.S.

About 20% of U.S. adults have received first vaccine dose, White House says

Joe Biden speaks during an event commemorating the 50 million COVID-19 vaccine shots. Photo: Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

Nearly 1 in 5 adults and nearly half of Americans 65 and older have received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine, White House senior adviser Andy Slavitt said on Friday.

The big picture: The Biden administration has previously said it has secured enough doses to vaccinate most of the American population by the end of July.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Most COVID-19 survivors can weather risk of reinfection, study says — "Twindemic" averted as flu reports plummet amid coronavirus crisis
  2. Vaccine: Employers mull COVID vaccine requirements — New data reignites the debate over coronavirus vaccine strategyPfizer begins study on 3rd vaccine dose as booster shot against new strains.
  3. Economy: What's really going on with the labor market.
  4. Local: All adult Minnesotans will likely be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine by summer — Another wealthy Florida community receives special access to COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Sports: Poll weighs impact of athlete vaccination.