The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Virginia Is for Voters

Ralph Northam’s victory in the Virginia governor’s race energized Democrats nationwide.

Then-Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks at his election night rally in Manhattan, New York, November 9, 2016. (Carlo Allegri / Reuters)

Today in 5 Lines

Today marked the first anniversary of Donald Trump’s election. Ralph Northam’s victory in the Virginia governor’s race energized Democrats nationwide, as they look to make gains in 2018. During his visit to China, Trump called on Beijing to put greater economic pressure on North Korea. In her confirmation hearing, Kirstjen Nielsen, Trump’s pick to lead the Department of Homeland Security, said she backed border security, but opposed a wall across the entire U.S.-Mexico border. The Justice Department called on AT&T to sell Turner Broadcasting, which includes CNN, for approval of its $85.4 billion merger with Time Warner.

Today on The Atlantic

  • A Nation’s Moral Character: From Republicans refusing to take a stand against President Trump to university faculty yielding to political correctness, America is facing a crisis in courage. (Eliot A. Cohen)

  • Grading the Presidency: Julian E. Zelizer argues that by some metrics, such as executive orders, Trump has been successful thus far. But by other, more important ones, he has failed.

  • The Coalition Reforms: Democratic victories Tuesday night were largely due to the realignment of college-educated white voters, but the party will still have to win over more of Trump’s supporters to succeed in the 2018 midterms. (Ronald Brownstein)

  • Introducing The Atlantic Interview: In the inaugural episode of The Atlantic Interview, The Atlantic's editor in chief Jeffrey Goldberg talks with the novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie about race, identity, and her reaction to a nervous interviewer calling her “Chimichanga.” Atlantic correspondent Ta-Nehisi Coates makes a cameo.

Follow stories throughout the day with our Politics & Policy portal.


People rush the doors of the jury-assembly room as former President Barack Obama departs after being dismissed from jury duty in Chicago, Illinois. Charles Rex Arbogast / AP

What We’re Reading

‘The Savior?’: A year after his election, Trump hasn’t helped small towns like Johnstown, Pennsylvania, much—but residents love him anyway. (Michael Kruse, Politico)

Murphy in the Mansion: Philip D. Murphy is the first Democrat to be elected as New Jersey’s governor in eight years. Will the “political newbie” prove to be more than just a wealthy former ambassador? (Nick Corasaniti, The New York Times)

Trapped: For undocumented immigrants residing in the United States, appearing in court can become a trap. (Steve Coll, The New Yorker)

The Losing Couple: Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner’s first year in Washington, D.C., is not shaping up as planned, but moving back to New York isn’t as promising as it once was, either. (Emily Jane Fox, Vanity Fair)

‘Discrimination Is a Disqualifier’: When Danica Roem was elected to Virginia’s House of Delegates on Tuesday night, she became the first openly transgender person elected to a state legislature. Antonio Olivo recaps her historic campaign against conservative incumbent Robert G. Marshall. (The Washington Post)


How Did Virginians Vote?: Exit polls—broken down by factors like gender, race, and gun ownership—reveal how Virginians voted in the gubernatorial race. (The Washington Post)

The Wall, Eight Ways: Here are the prototypes under consideration for Trump’s U.S.-Mexico border wall. (Jennifer Medina, Josh Haner, Josh Williams, and Quoctrung Bui, The New York Times)

Question of the Week

In this Esquire story, political commentators, insiders, and journalists shared their memories from November 8, 2016. Many of them, including members of Donald Trump’s own circle, expected Hillary Clinton to win the presidential election.

Where were you during the 2016 election? What are your memories from that day?

Share your response here, and we'll feature a few in Friday’s Politics & Policy Daily.

-Written by Lena Felton (@lenakfelton) and Taylor Hosking (@Taylor__Hosking)