Measuring the Geopolitical Fallout From the U.S. Midterm Elections

Nov 8, 2018 | 01:06 GMT

A view of the U.S. Capitol as midterm elections unfold on Nov. 6, 2018.

A view of Capitol Hill on Election Day 2018. Americans voted Nov. 6 in critical congressional elections that marked the first major voter test of Donald Trump's presidency. Democrats won a majority of seats in the U.S. House, while Republicans widened their majority in the Senate.



  • The Democrats' newfound control over the U.S. House of Representatives probably won't translate into greater control of the president's foreign trade powers. With vocal critics of Trump's trade policies out of the Senate, the new House will instead try to influence congressional approval for future trade negotiations.
  • The president has significant clout over foreign policy, but Congress can still try to build momentum for heavier sanctions against Russia or measures to rein in Saudi Arabia.
  • Gridlock will dominate some parts of the policymaking process under a divided Congress. The House probably won't be able to go after the tax reform that has already passed, but White House priorities such as immigration reform and additional tax cuts are now likely off the table.

The Nov. 6 U.S. midterm elections delivered the mixed result for Congress that had been widely anticipated. The Democratic Party won control of the House of Representatives, while the Republican Party's advantage in the Senate widened slightly. The divided control of Congress means that White House policy priorities in some areas will face more resistance from lawmakers, with the inevitable partisan gridlock providing fodder for both parties ahead of the 2020 presidential race. Here's what to expect over the months ahead in terms of the election's most relevant geopolitical implications....

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