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Republicans facing ‘a five-alarm fire’ in suburban districts they’ll need in 2020

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Republicans won a narrow victory in Tuesday’s special election in North Carolina, but their chances of retaking the House next year look bleak.

More than a dozen GOP lawmakers are retiring as President Donald Trump’s unpopularity sinks even lower, with a possible recession on the horizon, and Republicans are headed into their annual retreat in a gloomy mood, reported Politico.

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“I see an easy path for 12 pickup seats,” said Rep. Mark Meadow (R-NC), head of the conservative House Freedom Caucus. “It’s the last six that will be tough, and that actually runs through California. If we don’t pick up any in California, it will be virtually impossible.”

Trump will join House Republicans in Baltimore for their three-day retreat buoyed by Dan Bishop’s narrow win in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District, but they recognize signs are ominous heading into 2020.

Bishop eked out a 2-point win in a district Trump won by 12 points in 2016, but he performed dismally in the suburbs that turned against GOP candidate in last year’s midterms.

“This is like a five-alarm fire for Republicans in prosperous suburbs,” said Dave Wasserman, the House editor for the Cook Political Report. “[The GOP] averted disaster, but there’s nothing in the results to persuade House Republicans who are sitting on the fence about running for reelection that they are any likelier to take back the majority.”

The GOP is hoping to hold on to 35 House seats in districts that are even less reliably Republican than Bishop’s, and the party is losing its only black House member and two of its 13 women.

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Most of those retirements have come from deeply red districts, but at least three of those races have become more competitive with the loss of GOP incumbents.

“We consistently have a lot more turnover than the Democrats, and that’s been the case when we’re in the majority or the minority,” said Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), whose Washington roommate Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) is among the retirements. “We have a real opportunity to win the majority back.”

The wild card remains the economy, which has shown signs of falling into recession before next year’s election.

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“The stronger the economy, the better it will be for the president and Republicans,” said Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY). “If the economy is not going well, I guess it depends on how so, which factors of the economy aren’t going well.”

Republicans remain publicly confident the economy will hold strong through the election, but political analysts say they’re in trouble either way.

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“In both 2018 and last night, House race results have been highly correlated with Trump’s approval ratings,” Wasserman said. “It’s unlikely that [Republicans] win back control of the House either way. Right now, I would put the chances at somewhere between 25 and 35 percent.”


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WATCH: Franklin Graham tells Jeanine Pirro coronavirus pandemic is because of people sinning

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Franklin Graham blamed sinners for the COVID-19 coronavirus epidemic during a Saturday night appearance on Fox News.

Host Jeanine Pirro noted the growing death toll and wondered how God could let that happen.

"Well, I don't think it's God's plan for this to happen," Graham said.

"It's because of the sin that's in the world, judge," he argued.

"Man has turned his back on God, we have sinned against him, and we need to ask for God's forgiveness and that's what Easter's all about," he continued.

"This pandemic, this is the result of a fallen world that has turned its back on God," he added.

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Drought causing water shortage amid coronavirus crisis in Chile

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With historically low river flows and reservoirs running dry due to drought, people in central Chile have found themselves particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus pandemic.

Years of resource exploitation and lax legislation have allowed most reservoirs in that part of the country to run dry.

"There are now 400,000 families, nearly 1.5 million people approximately, whose supply of 50 liters of water a day depends on tankers," Rodrigo Mundaca, spokesman for the Movement for the Defense of Water, the Earth and the Protection of the Environment, told AFP.

One of the main pieces of advice to protect people against coronavirus is to wash your hands regularly.

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Trump warns of ‘tough week’ ahead — after the United States surpassed 300,000 coronavirus victims

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US President Donald Trump warned Americans on Saturday to brace for a "very horrendous" number of coronavirus deaths in the coming days as the total number of global fatalities from the pandemic soared past 60,000.

As confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States surpassed 300,000 with more than 8,300 deaths, there was some encouraging news in Italy and Spain.

Europe continues to bear the brunt of the epidemic, however, accounting for over 45,000 of the worldwide deaths, and Britain reported a new daily high in fatalities.

There are now more than 1.17 million confirmed coronavirus cases around the world and there have been 63,437 deaths since the virus emerged in China late last year.

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