☕ Good Thursday morning.
Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios
If Brett Kavanaugh's nomination sinks, Democrats would turn the midterms into a referendum not just on President Trump but also women’s rights, abortion and the future of the Supreme Court, sources tell Axios CEO Jim VandeHei and me.
In what Republicans believe is an increasingly unlikely scenario where Kavanaugh tanks ...
If Democrats downed Kavanaugh, the White House would be inclined to nominate someone at least as conservative, or even more vocally so — perhaps Judge Amy Coney Barrett of Chicago, a Catholic conservative.
Be smart: Matt Miller, a former aide to Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, told me that a court opening during the stretch run of midterms would "convince Democrats all around the country, many of whom have been afraid that nothing matters anymore, that some things still do matter."
Republicans, panicked as the week began, are increasingly confident that Kavanaugh will be confirmed next week:
A source involved in the process tells Jonathan Swan: "There is certainly some level of unity [between Senate Rs and the White House] that it’s bizarre [that] after offering to testify, it now appears she doesn’t want to."
Riding an anti-Trump surge, more Democrats turned out in House primaries than Republicans this year — the first time that has happened since 2008, Axios' Chris Canipe and Neal Rothschild report.
Scooter startups Lime and Bird have each crossed 10 million rides, with Lime recently reaching 11.5 million, Axios' Kia Kokalitcheva reports.
N.Y. Times: "The world’s two largest economies are in the opening stages of a new one that could persist well after Mr. Trump is out of office."
WashPost: "China said ... it would retaliate for President Trump’s latest tariff salvo, risking further U.S. trade actions that could result in what some analysts are calling an economic Cold War."
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
As the U.S.–China trade war escalates, the two powers are fighting a greater battle at the frontiers of technology, Kevin Rudd — former Australian Prime Minister, and now president of the Asia Society Policy Institute — writes for Axios Expert Voices:
Why it matters: In 2018, U.S.–China relations have entered a period of profound strategic drift, a pivotal moment in the transition from cooperation to competition.
Today's print N.Y. Times includes an 11-page, ad-free section (promo on the back), "The Plot to Subvert an Election: Unraveling the Russia Story So Far," by Scott Shane and Mark Mazzetti. In an "Inside The Times" explainer, the two write:
Some of America’s most powerful U.S.-based oil companies — ExxonMobil, Chevron and Occidental Petroleum — are joining a global consortium of oil and gas producers seeking to address climate change, Axios' Amy Harder scoops.
Why it matters: This is one of the strongest signs yet of how America’s biggest oil companies, under pressure from investors and lawsuits, are joining most other U.S. corporations in working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
"The Politics of Being Jay Powell," Rich Miller and Craig Torres of Bloomberg Businessweek have an inside look at the Fed chair's political relationships in D.C.
Flashback to a July Trump tweet: "The United States should not be penalized because we are doing so well. Tightening now hurts all that we have done. The U.S. should be allowed to recapture what was lost due to illegal currency manipulation and BAD Trade Deals. Debt coming due & we are raising rates - Really?"
Mitchell at the White House in 2006. (Ron Sachs, Pool/Getty Images)
"Arthur Mitchell, who paved the way for other minority dancers by becoming one of the first black dancers to join a major ballet company and who helped start the acclaimed Dance Theatre of Harlem, died Wednesday" at 84, writes the L.A. Times' Sarah Halzack.
Human geography: The Social-Network States of America ... The N.Y. Times Upshot's "Picture of Social Connectedness in America," by Emily Badger and Quoctrung Bui: