The midterms' overseas report card
This micro-column was written by an outside contributor. It was first published on Nov. 10 in Flagship, our daily newsletter that distills what’s happening in the world into a concise, insightful morning read.
The winners and losers in the midterms were not all on the ballot. Indeed, some were not even in the United States.
Among the biggest losers was Russian President Vladimir Putin. Suffering loss after loss on the battlefield in Ukraine, Putin had to have been hoping for a big Republican victory: Kevin McCarthy, the Republican Leader in the House of Representatives, had stated that once his party took control of the House, it would no longer grant Ukraine a “blank check.”
The results played out differently. Not only did the GOP fail to gain the big election victory it expected, but exit polls made it clear that voter support for Ukraine remained strong. The result: U.S. support for Ukraine is almost certain to remain unabated.
Another international leader who had to find last night’s outcomes disconcerting was Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed bin Salman, who placed a big public bet on backing the Donald Trump-led faction of the GOP, which thanks to a string of defeats for Trumpist candidates has now revealed itself to be much weaker than anticipated.
Winners? Ukraine, of course. But also NATO and fans of global stability who are likely to see much more continuity in U.S. foreign policy than would have occurred in the wake of a big GOP success or the renewed ascendancy of Trump. Well, continuity until we do this all over again in 2024.