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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

Prosecutor to seek hate crime charges, death penalty in Atlanta shootings

In Hopkinton, Mass., the Rally & Run To Stop Asian Hate is held to show solidarity in the wake of deadly Atlanta shootings and to mourn the loss of eight lives including six Asian women. Photo: Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Prosecutors unveiled murder charges against the white man accused of shooting and killing eight people, six of whom were Asian women, at Atlanta-area spas,.AP reports.

Driving the news: A prosecutor filed notice that she plans to seek hate crime charges and the death penalty in the case.

2 hours ago - Health

Study: Over 99% of hospitalized COVID-19 patients were not vaccinated

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The Cleveland Clinic on Tuesday released a study showing that 99.75% of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 between Jan. 1 and April 13 were not fully vaccinated, according to data provided to Axios.

Why it matters: Real-world evidence continues to show coronavirus vaccines are effective at keeping people from dying and out of hospitals. The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines have been found to be 95% and 94% effective, respectively, at preventing symptomatic infections.

4 hours ago - Health

Biden reaches agreements with Uber and Lyft to give free rides to vaccine sites

The Biden administration has reached agreements with ride-sharing companies Uber and Lyft to offer free rides to coronavirus vaccination sites through July 4, the White House announced Tuesday.

Why it matters: The free rides, starting in the next two weeks, are part of the Biden administration's push to administer at least one vaccine dose to 70% of U.S. adults by Independence Day.