The Atlantic Daily: Good News for Trumpism, Bad News for Trump

If Democrats can lose in Virginia, they can lose anywhere, our writers argue. Also: Is it safe for kids to get the flu shot and the COVID vaccine at the same time?

The Atlantic Daily logo: red background with a white envelope and red letter "A"

Democrats are in trouble. If this year’s governor’s races are really the bellwethers they’re made out to be, the flock’s headed right: Virginia went red last night, and typically blue-leaning New Jersey was too close to call. (Incumbent Democrat Phil Murphy managed a narrow win late today.)

Just how bad of a sign is that for the governing party going into the 2022 midterms? Pretty bad, our writers argue.

1. Glenn Youngkin’s win is spectacular for Republicans—and less so for Donald Trump.

The Virginia race, my colleague David A. Graham pointed out, was a test of what Trumpism could look like in a post-Trump GOP. Youngkin pulled it off: “In winning while keeping Trump at arm’s length, Youngkin also showed the possibility of a party that isn’t Trump’s any longer,” David explains.

2. If Democrats can lose in Virginia, they can lose almost anywhere.

Elaine Godfrey and Russell Berman write: “For Democrats outside Virginia, the results also provide grim confirmation of what polls have shown for months: [Joe] Biden is no longer a popular president, and independent voters in particular have, for now, deserted his party.”

3. Schools were a top issue in the state.

Zachary D. Carter makes the case that “a lot of suburban parents lost faith in Virginia’s public schools over the past year, and as a result, they’re more open to conservative narratives about problems in public schools.” But school issues aren’t a surefire winner for either party, Adam Harris argues.

Get our most up-to-date election coverage on our site.

Black and white photo of Mitch McConnnell, wearing a face mask
(Erin Schaff / The New York Times / Redux)

The rest of the news in three sentences:

(1) Two big northeastern cities got new mayors yesterday: Eric Adams will lead New York, and Michelle Wu will lead Boston. (2) Senate Republicans blocked another voting-rights bill. (3) The Fed plans to taper off the emergency-bond purchasing it started in March 2020.

One question, answered: Can my kid get a COVID vaccine and a flu vaccine at the same time?

Our staff writer Katherine J. Wu, who is covering the pediatric-vaccine rollout, reports:

Yes. Tina Tan, a pediatrician and infectious-disease specialist at Northwestern University says: “There is no reason that you can’t get the flu shot and the COVID shot at the same time.” The CDC says it’s safe too. A lot of pediatric shots actually combine a bunch of vaccines into a single injection; getting same-day flu and COVID shots is also expected to work well.

There might be some side effects, but remember that they tend to be milder with the smaller, kid-size dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

We had Katie answer five practical questions about where kid vaccines go from here.

Today’s Atlantic-approved activity:

I light incense on the stovetop, trail cinders / through an empty house. Read Jenny Qi’s poem “Postcards From the Living.”

A break from the news:

Americans didn’t use to celebrate birthdays.