Nov 5, 2018

Preview: The day after tomorrow

Mike Allen, author of AM

llustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

You already know what you think about the midterms, or are smarter than to predict. So here's a cheat sheet for what comes next.

The state of play for President Trump's next 30ish hours: Lose as expected, and he'd face a narrowly controlled Democratic House and a friendly Republican Senate with the ability to keep confirming judges. Lose by a landslide, and the House would get more hostile, and even the Senate would be at risk. But win by any margin, and he could get even more aggressive on tax cuts, health care and immigration, with only congressional fears of 2020 in the way.

Between the lines... Assuming the expected Democratic House and Republican Senate, here's how the AP sees it going from investors' point of view:

  • “Divided government equals gridlock,” said Terry Haines, head of U.S. policy and political analysis at Evercore ISI. “Gridlock is a good thing for markets because markets like certainty.”
  • "Agreement on an infrastructure bill could give a boost to construction equipment and transportation companies. And legislation to control drug pricing would likely be a drag on pharmaceutical company stocks."
  • "A Democrat-led House could also lead to heightened oversight and investigations of big banks and Wall Street firms, which could weigh on financial sector stocks."
  • "The possibility of a government shutdown also increases with a divided Congress... The S&P 500 slumped nearly 20 percent during the government shutdown that occurred during Congress’ 2011 debt ceiling impasse."

What's next, if history holds: "The S&P 500 has generated an average price return of 16.7 percent in the 12 months after each of the midterm elections going back to 1946, according to CFRA. That’s 18 elections, many of which ended up shuffling the balance of power in Congress."

Go deeper: Axios' Dan Primack and Alexi McCammond set the stage for tomorrow's midterms on the Pro Rata podcast.

Go deeper

Trump says he will campaign against Lisa Murkowski after her support for Mattis

Trump with Barr and Meadows outside St. John's Episcopal church in Washington, D.C. on June 1. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Thursday that he would endorse "any candidate" with a pulse who runs against Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

Driving the news: Murkowski said on Thursday that she supported former defense secretary James Mattis' condemnation of Trump over his response to protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing. She described Mattis' statement as "true, honest, necessary and overdue," Politico's Andrew Desiderio reports.

8 hours ago - World

The president vs. the Pentagon

Trump visits Mattis and the Pentagon in 2018. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty

Over the course of just a few hours, President Trump was rebuffed by the Secretary of Defense over his call for troops in the streets and accused by James Mattis, his former Pentagon chief, of trampling the Constitution for political gain.

Why it matters: Current and former leaders of the U.S. military are drawing a line over Trump's demand for a militarized response to the protests and unrest that have swept the country over the killing of George Floyd by police.

New York Times says Tom Cotton op-ed did not meet standards

Photo: Avalon/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

A New York Times spokesperson said in a statement Thursday that the paper will be changing its editorial board processes after a Wednesday op-ed by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), which called for President Trump to "send in the troops" in order to quell violent protests, failed to meet its standards.

Why it matters: The shift comes after Times employees began a coordinated movement on social media on Wednesday and Thursday that argued that publishing the op-ed put black staff in danger. Cotton wrote that Trump should invoke the Insurrection Act in order to deploy the U.S. military against rioters that have overwhelmed police forces in cities across the country.