Democrats Poll Better for Senate, Trump Rethinks TPP

The Republican majority in the Senate is no longer safe. The president may be changing his mind on trade.

The Washington Monument and United States Capitol seen from the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC
The Washington Monument and United States Capitol seen from the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC (Shutterstock/Orhan Cam)

The conventional wisdom in the United States is that Democrats are likely to take control of the House of Representatives in November while Republicans are likely to defend their majority in the Senate.

That’s changing, according to FiveThirtyEight.

Democrats are polling better in Arizona and Tennessee. Ted Cruz is still likely to win reelection in Texas, but Democrat Beto O’Rourke is mounting a serious challenge.

In Florida, it’s the other way around. The candidacy of Republican governor Rick Scott is making Democrat Bill Nelson’s reelection a little less likely.

For more, read my story from February.

Trump rethinks TPP

President Donald Trump is reportedly reconsidering his decision to pull out of the Trans Pacific Partnership now that the trade pact is continuing without him.

Bloomberg is optimistic, writing that the plight of farmers might convince Trump to return to the treaty:

Farmers face retaliation from China if the US goes ahead with the tariffs it has threatened on Chinese goods. They’d gain a lot from the lower tariffs mandated by TPP, especially in the long-protected Japanese market. Liberal trade has benefits for the US after all. Who knew?

Bloomberg also points out, though, that none of the potential gains of TPP moved Trump a year ago. So let’s not get our hopes up.

For more, read my editorial from last year: Trump blunders by withdrawing from Trans Pacific Partnership.

American autocracy watch

  • Andrew Sullivan sees bad omens for the United States in Viktor Orbán’s reelection in Hungary.
  • Josh Barro is optimistic that institutions aren’t folding to Donald Trump. It’s not an imaginary “deep state” the president should be worried about, he writes; it’s the regular state.