Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

President Trump's tariffs are introducing a new, wildly unpredictable issue into the midterm elections, thanks to their heavy impact on states with critical Senate races as well as their likely role in House races across the country.

Expand chart
Data: U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Note: Dollar amounts reference total value of goods in 2017. Cartogram: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Why it matters: This puts GOP candidates in a weird position: Speaking out against trade policy that's hurting their state or district could turn off voters who would view that as criticizing Trump. But Democrats aren't exactly free traders, and they're not piling on the president's tariffs the way they attack his other policies.

The big picture: Politically speaking, "If the Chinese blink and back down, it's a victory for Trump and a plus for Republicans," said Chris Wilson, a GOP pollster who worked on Sen. Ted Cruz's 2016 campaign. "But the risk if we get into a prolonged trade war is there will be local and potentially national impacts."

What they're saying: Republican Senate candidates trying to defeat Democrats in red states that Trump won aren't going to jump at the opportunity to undermine their support of the president, despite the party's traditional free-trade ideology.

  • In North Dakota — one of the GOP's best pickup opportunities this cycle — Rep. Kevin Cramer has issued carefully worded statements on Trump's tariffs, emphasizing the need to protect farmers while stopping short of criticizing the president. He also accused Democrats of stoking "hysteria" over the tariffs.
  • Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, the Democrat who holds the seat now, has said the tariffs would cause a "devastating blow" to the state's agriculture sector and accused Cramer of belittling his constituents.
  • A similar dynamic has played out in the race for Tennessee's open Senate seat, where Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn has called the tariffs "part of a negotiation and a process," while former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen has criticized the tariffs in a TV ad.

The other side: Democrats, however, aren't all universally opposed to the tariffs. Some have always been skeptical of free trade and support the tariffs, while others say they wish Trump had executed them better.

  • Sen. Chris Van Hollen, the caucus's campaign chair, said each member will act based on how their state is impacted. "The bottom line here is each member’s job is to defend the interests of the people in their states," he said.
  • "I support the president’s tariffs. I wish that they would be done better," said Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, who said he's been concerned about trade policy long before Trump became president.
  • Others are more skeptical. “It’s already taking us down a road that’s going to have some real negative impact, particularly on agriculture and construction," said Sen. John Tester of Montana. "If I thought there was an end game here that he could actually achieve, I’d be a little less concerned."
  • "I do think we need to be aggressive with China, but do it in a manner that’s strategic and not in a way that’s impulsive or lacking in a calculated outcome to help our workers and our economy," said Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania. "Sometimes I don’t know if the president’s able to do that.”

It's not just Senate races that could be affected by the tariffs. One GOP operative said that in House seats in the Midwest, where the tariffs are starting to hit soybeans and dairy farmers, "it could be a real issue."

  • The operative said it could be a problem in places like Iowa's third district and Minnesota's first, which are both rated as toss-up districts by the Cook Political Report.

Go deeper

Pipeline hack spotlights cyber risks to energy systems

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The ransomware attack against the Colonial Pipeline — the massive East Coast gasoline artery — is a stunning real-world example of the increasing risks that the energy sector faces from a cyberattack.

Why it matters: Different parts of the vast American energy system are vulnerable — from pipelines to power grids to individual power plants and plenty in between.

1 hour ago - Technology

Scoop: TikTok launching jobs service for Gen Z

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

TikTok is testing a tool for brands to recruit employees, sources tell Axios.

Details: The pilot program is designed to help people find jobs on TikTok and connect with companies looking to find candidates. It's also meant to help brands use TikTok as a recruitment channel.

Crypto media boom

Data: SimilarWeb; Chart: Axios Visuals

A slew of new crypto media companies have gained enormous traction over the past year, thanks to the digital currency craze taking over Wall Street.

Why it matters: “For the first time ever, crypto has become relevant to the global macro-economic conversation, and therefore, the investment conversation," says Jason Yanowitz, co-founder of Blockworks, a financial media brand catered to investors.