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I took a look at all 435 House seats. My predictions show GOP holds majority 219-216.

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I took a look at all 435 House seats My predictions show GOP holds majority 219-216

For the last few weeks I’ve been pointing to several factors that gave me hope the Republican Party could retain control of the House of Representatives. To be completely transparent, I thought their chances were around 20% of actually doing it based almost completely on mainstream media’s bias against them.

Recent shifts in polls, encouraging numbers for early voter turnout, and actions by both parties prompted me to do the laborious chore of going through each individual race and objectively picking the winner based on all the data available to me. I expected the tally at the end to show a slightly lower Democratic majority than most analysts are predicting. My expectations were wrong.

By my count, Republicans will hold on to a razor-thin majority of the House of Representatives.

Most of the races were easy to call. I thoroughly analyzed the 70 or so races that will determine the fate of the House (and our nation) and rated each one based on what I truly believe the outcome will be. Many of the toss-ups I rated at leaning blue because the most recent polls showed strong Democratic numbers. In the races that I felt the Republicans had the edge, I rated them leaning red.

When the dust settled, I was pleasantly surprised.

Much of this will hinge on California where most analysts are predicting losses for Dana Rohrabacher and Mimi Walters. It’s discouraging to know the end result may hinge on Republican incumbents in light-red Orange County holding their seats, but boots on the ground seem to be favoring the Republicans. I get to see Harley Rouda pretty much non-stop which is one of the reasons analysts are leaning the race towards him, but the most recent poll shows Rohrabacher up by 9%. Sorry analysts, but that’s too much for me to be compelled to lean this race to the left.

As the race reaches its end, the signs are pointing towards a similar result we saw in 2016 when Democratic confidence and media spin were not enough to win the White House or Senate as they were all predicting straight up to election day.


Click the map to create your own at 270toWin.com

Economy

Pacific Rim summit highlights strained China-US relations

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Pacific Rim summit highlights strained China-US relations

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (AP) — A meeting of world leaders in Papua New Guinea has highlighted divisions between global powers the U.S. and China and a growing competition for influence in the usually neglected South Pacific.

The 21 nations at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Port Moresby struggled to bridge differences on issues such as trade protectionism and reforming the World Trade Organization, making it likely their final statement Sunday will be an anodyne document.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and China’s President Xi Jinping traded barbs in speeches on Saturday. Pence professed respect for Xi and China but also harshly criticized the world’s No. 2 economy for intellectual property theft, forced technology transfers and unfair trading practices.

In Port Moresby, the impact of China’s aid and loans is highly visible. But the U.S. and allies are countering with efforts to finance infrastructure in Papua New Guinea and other island states. The U.S. has also said it will be involved in ally Australia’s plan to develop a naval base with Papua New Guinea.

On Sunday, the U.S., New Zealand, Japan and Australia said they’d work with Papua New Guinea’s government to bring electricity to 70 percent of its people by 2030. Less than 20 percent have a reliable electricity supply.

“The commitment of the United States of America to this region of the world has never been stronger,” said Pence at a signing ceremony. A separate statement from his office said other countries are welcome to join the electrification initiative provided they support the U.S. vision of a free and open Pacific.

China, meanwhile, has promised $4 billion of finance to build the the first national road network in Papua New Guinea, among the least urbanised countries in the world.

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Democrats

Andrew Gillum concedes to Ron DeSantis in Florida gubernatorial race

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Andrew Gillum concedes to Ron DeSantis in Florida gubernatorial race

It was arguably the most watched gubernatorial race in the nation this past midterm election season and it didn’t disappoint. It took a recount and multiple lawsuits to finish, but in the end Republican Ron DeSantis defeated Democrat Andrew Gillum.

The mayor of Jacksonville finally conceded for the second time today, nearly two weeks after election day. He already conceded once on election fight.

Andrew Gillum concedes in Florida governor’s race for second time

https://www.tallahassee.com/story/news/2018/11/17/andrew-gillum-concedes-florida-governors-race-second-time/2041301002/In a four-minute video posted live on Facebook, Mayor Gillum stood with his wife R. Jai, a Tallahassee park in the background and both dressed in Florida A&M University orange and green. Gillum first thanked his supporters. Then, he officially acknowledged Republican Ron DeSantis as the winner.

“R. Jai and I wanted to take a moment to congratulate Mr. DeSantis on becoming the next governor of the great state of Florida,” Gillum said in the video posted at about 5 p.m.

DeSantis Tweeted acknowledgement of the concession.

Florida is a bellwether for the 2020 presidential election. The closeness of the race and the apparent corruption in the state means both parties have a lot of work to do. The state needs to get their act together before then as well.

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Entertainment and Sports

Lyons leads Furman to stunning upset of No. 8 Villanova

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Lyons leads Furman to stunning upset of No 8 Villanova

VILLANOVA, Pa. (AP) — First, it was Loyola. Next came Villanova.

One by one, Furman is picking off teams from last year’s Final Four and proving to be the surprise story of the first month of the college basketball season.

Jordan Lyons scored 17 points, Matt Rafferty had 15 points and 17 rebounds, and Furman stunned the defending national champion and eighth-ranked Wildcats in overtime, 76-68 on Saturday.

“We’re just tiny old Furman,” coach Bob Richey said. “Most people ask us what state we’re in, what city we’re in. Now all of a sudden people are starting to figure out who Furman is.”

If opponents and fans aren’t paying attention to the team from Greenville, South Carolina, they’d better start now.

Clay Mounce added 15 points and Noah Gurley and Alex Hunter scored 13 apiece for the surging Paladins, who have started 5-0 for the first time in 30 years.

Lyons and Rafferty delivered huge buckets in overtime to key a 7-0 spurt that put the Paladins ahead 69-63 in the final minute, enough cushion for them to hang on for the victory in front of a shocked sellout crowd at the recently renovated Finneran Pavilion.

“It almost can bring me to tears to think about how proud I am of the resolve, the resiliency and the fight this team has,” Richey said. “They play together, they play connected. It’s the definition of a team.”

Phil Booth scored 20 points and Colin Gillespie had 19 for the Wildcats (2-2), who were coming off a 27-point loss to Michigan in a rematch of April’s national championship game. It marked the first time Villanova lost back-to-back games since March of 2013.

“It’s not that shocking, to be honest,” Booth said. “They’re a very good team. We’re still a young team trying to find our way.”

Trailing 58-53 with under four minutes to play in regulation, Joe Cremo hit a 3-pointer, Booth scored and Gillespie made a layup in transition to put Villanova in front, 60-58, in the final minute.

After Lyons hit two free throws to tie the game at 60, Booth missed on the other end and Hunter misfired on a long 3-pointer in the final seconds. Cremo was called for a foul while going for the rebound, but Rafferty couldn’t connect on the front end of a 1-and-1 with 2.6 seconds left, setting the game up for OT.

Rafferty said his teammates picked him up and told him to make up for the missed free throw in overtime — which he did.

“This was incredible,” Rafferty said. “I’ve never been a part of something like this.”

ROAR OF THE LYONS

Two days after pouring in 54 points while matching an NCAA record with 15 3-pointers in a 107-67 win over North Greenville, Lyons had more big buckets, including one that put Furman ahead 48-46 with a little over eight minutes remaining.

Richey was proud of how the junior guard dealt with ’Nova’s defense, especially after he was held to five points in the first half.

“He was mature enough to know he had to play within our team concept,” Richey said. “He got going in the second half. I was really proud of him.”

CHEMISTRY ISSUES

Although he put his team on his back at times, scoring five straight points during one stretch to tie the game at 51, Booth shouldered a lot of the blame for the loss.

“I have to do a better job of showing the team what Villanova basketball is on both ends of the floor,” said Booth, a senior guard who was a part of the Wildcats’ national championship teams in both 2016 and 2018.

“We’re trying to work on a lot of chemistry things as a team,” he added.

BIG PICTURE

Furman: It’s only November, but the Paladins are looking like a team that will be dangerous in March. In their only other road game of the season, they upset last season’s NCAA Tournament darling, Loyola-Chicago, on a last-second dunk.

Villanova: After losing four players from last year’s national championship squad to the NBA draft, coach Jay Wright continues to search for his best rotation. On Saturday, freshman Jahvon Quinerly, a five-star recruit, didn’t get in the game after playing key minutes in Villanova’s first three games. The Wildcats’ depth also took a hit Friday when the team announced that redshirt sophomore Dylan Painter will transfer.

“You always want to get the young guys in,” Wright said. “It was close and then we got down the stretch and you try to ride it out with the older guys and hope you can get through the game.”

UP NEXT

Furman hosts Southern Wesleyan on Wednesday.

Villanova faces Canisius in the Advocare Invitational in Orlando on Thanksgiving.

___

More AP college basketball.

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