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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

Biden's Day 1 challenges: Systemic racism

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Kirsty O'Connor (PA Images)/Getty Images

Advocates are pushing President-elect Biden to tackle systemic racism with a Day 1 agenda that includes ending the detention of migrant children and expanding DACA, announcing a Justice Department investigation of rogue police departments and returning some public lands to Indigenous tribes.

Why it matters: Biden has said the fight against systemic racism will be one of the top goals of his presidency — but the expectations may be so high that he won't be able to meet them.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
58 mins ago - Health

Most Americans are still vulnerable to the coronavirus

Adapted from Bajema, et al., 2020, "Estimated SARS-CoV-2 Seroprevalence in the US as of September 2020"; Cartogram: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

As of September, the vast majority of Americans did not have coronavirus antibodies, according to a new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Why it matters: As the coronavirus spreads rapidly throughout most of the country, most people remain vulnerable to it.

Trump set to appear at Pennsylvania GOP hearing on voter fraud claims

President Trumpat the White House on Tuesday. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Trump is due to join his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Wednesday at a Republican-led state Senate Majority Policy Committee hearing to discuss alleged election irregularities.

Why it matters: This would be his first trip outside of the DMV since Election Day and comes shortly after GSA ascertained the results, formally signing off on a transition to President-elect Biden.