Women Set to Storm November Midterms

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It may be the year of the woman in U.S. politics, but that doesn’t mean female candidates have an easy road ahead.

A record number of women have stepped up for U.S. House and Senate races — 527 and counting — with more than a dozen states still accepting new candidates for the November mid-terms that will determine control of Congress. That’s up 67 percent from 2016.

The historic jump in major party candidates arises from multiple influences: the potency of the #MeToo movement, an expanded bench of women in local and state offices, and — at least among many Democratic women — President Donald Trump’s 2016 victory over Hillary Clinton.

“That election was a real slap in the face to a lot of us,” said Mikie Sherrill, a mother of four, ages 6 to 12, who is running as a Democrat for an open New Jersey House seat that Republicans now hold. “Progress wasn’t inevitable.”

Even with the increase, that still leaves large swaths of the country where women aren’t on the ballot. In five states, no Democratic women are running. There’s no female Republican candidate in 14 states.

Our Washington bureau spoke to many of the candidates and brings you their perspectives, along with graphic illustrations of the electoral landscape.

Global Headlines

Mueller’s trap | Trump probably won't be talking to Special Counsel Robert Mueller — not if Rudy Giuliani has anything to do with it. The latest addition to Trump's legal team said an interview would be a “trap,” and the president wouldn't have to comply with a subpoena if one is issued. “He’s the President of the United States. We can assert the same privileges other presidents have,” Giuliani said. 

Customs Union crunch | British Prime Minister Theresa May is preparing a second attempt to persuade her cabinet to accept a plan for a so-called customs partnership with the EU after Brexit. If she fails to win support, the premier will have to agree to remain in the customs union or risk getting no exit deal at all. Either could be fatal to her leadership.

Populism in Italy | The Five Star Movement said it’s ready to give up its claim to the prime minister’s job to seal a populist alliance with the anti-immigrant League. Five Star leader Luigi Di Maio is trying to find a solution to the two-month post-election impasse as President Sergio Mattarella considers nominating a technocrat premier in a rebuke to the feuding political class.

A deal at risk | There's widespread concern that Trump will exit the Iran nuclear deal before the May 12 deadline. Hoping to influence a president who’s known to make important decisions at the last minute, Europe is scrambling to salvage the pact, with Britain’s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson in Washington this week, following recent visits by President Emmanuel Macron and Chancellor Angela Merkel.

French unions | Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has blocked off today for talks with union leaders to try to end rail strikes. Meanwhile, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire warned yesterday that excessive salary demands and walkouts at Air France-KLM Group could sink the airline. The unrest is a stark reminder that reforming France remains Macron's priority. 

What to Watch

  • Lebanon is counting the ballots from its first parliamentary elections in nine years, a pivotal moment for the country as it tries to ease a crippling debt burden and avoid being dragged deeper into the Middle East’s escalating crises. Official results should be released today. 

And finally… Someone in the White House has read 1984. Trump’s administration slammed China for telling airlines to stop referring to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau as countries, calling the order “Orwellian nonsense.” China fired back today, saying foreign companies need to respect “the feelings of the Chinese people” when doing business. The spat comes shortly after a U.S. delegation returned from Beijing with little to show, raising the risk that the world economy is headed for a trade war.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

With assistance from Editorial Board

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