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Photo: Mark Makela/Corbis via Getty Images

California Republicans, who have long struggled to feel fully represented in the majority-blue state and have failed for the past 12 years to win a statewide election, are now at risk of being outnumbered by Independents.

The key data points: California Republicans are now only two-tenths of a percentage point greater than unaffiliated voters, the LA Times' John Myers writes. And as of April 6, only only 28,649 more voters align with the GOP than they do the Independent party, according to the state's official voter registration report.

  • Among the youngest of voters (18 and 24), only 13% identify as Republican.
The Republican Party has changed, and it's unattractive to a lot of voters in California.
— Rob Stutzman, a longtime GOP strategist, tells Myers

Why it matters: The GOP in California, which produced presidents Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon, is on a steady decline in the country's most populated state.

What's next: Candidates will compete in an open primary on June 5. And the two candidates who get the most votes — regardless of their party — will compete ahead of the November general election.

The big picture: Keeping the seats Republicans already have is "the more immediate problem," writes Myers. "Republicans ... hold just 14 of California's 53 seats in the House of Representatives, and several of those seats are in danger of flipping to Democrats this fall."

Go deeper: The bad blood between Trump and California; California Democrats show the party's competing shades of blue

Go deeper

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Epic's Apple lawsuit is costing the company dearly, but the game developer has its eye on a valuable long-term goal: prying tomorrow's virtual worlds loose from the grip of app store proprietors like Apple.

Between the lines: Epic isn't spending a fortune in legal fees and foregoing a ton of revenue just to shave some costs off in-app purchases on today's phones. Rather, it's planning for a future of creating virtual universes via augmented and virtual reality — without having to send a big chunk of their economies to Apple or Google.

Updated 44 mins ago - Health

The race to avoid a possible "monster" COVID variant

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Slow global COVID-19 vaccination rates are raising concerns that worse variants of the coronavirus could be percolating, ready to rip into the world before herd immunity can diminish their impact.

Why it matters: The U.S. aims to at least partially vaccinate 70% of adults by July 4, a move expected to accelerate the current drop of new infections here. But variants are the wild card, and in a global pandemic where only about 8% of all people have received one dose, the virus will continue mutating unabated.

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The picture: Voters still care about the cost of drugs, but Democrats don't have a feasible legislative strategy yet — or an agreed-upon policy to fit into a legislative strategy.