You’d be forgiven if you woke up this morning and thought it was November 9 and Donald Trump won the presidency just a few hours ago.
In the eight months since that historic night, it often seems as if America is in a state of suspended animation, gripped by a nasty campaign that will never end.
After all, Trump hasn’t really left campaign mode, still blasting the media and boasting about the states he won last year. If anything, 2016 is already gelling into 2020 with the President recently holding a campaign-style rally in Iowa and hosting the first fundraiser of his re-election bid.
Democrats haven’t moved on either. The party fought – and lost – five special election races this year that often took on the tone of a 2016 redo. Hillary Clinton still makes headlines with her stinging broadsides against Trump. Her presence on the political scene will only increase this fall when she publishes a new book.
With all of the unresolved feelings surrounding the election, welcome to the “post-mortem” issue of STATE. In this, our third issue, we do an autopsy of sorts on what happened last year and explore the passions that still linger on both sides of the political spectrum.
Jennifer Agiesta, CNN’s polling director, writes our cover story this month. It’s a definitive -- and highly visual -- look at how Trump won, how Clinton lost and the factors that so many people overlooked as voters considered their options. As you embark on summer vacations with family and friends, keep this guide handy. When the conversation inevitably turns to politics, you can point to it and hopefully avoid another political fight.
CNN Digital Correspondent Vanessa Yurkevich explores the emotional side of why Republicans and Democrats are struggling to move past the election. She, along with intern Natalie Austin and producer Masuma Ahuja, listened to hundreds of voicemails left by readers who spoke in personal terms about how they feel about the election.
Meanwhile, CNN Digital Correspondent Chris Moody looks at how Southern Baptists grappled with the fallout of the election when one of the denomination’s most prominent voices forcefully opposed Trump. Moody weaves in his family’s history to present a compelling narrative of a church that has sometimes struggled to handle contemporary issues.
Jodi Enda, CNN’s assistant managing editor for special projects, spent months talking to dozens of activists about the women’s movement in the aftermath of the January march that brought millions of Americans to the streets of cities across the country. She finds that activists are ironically more energized than ever under Trump. But what will that energy yield?
Finally, longtime media writer Rem Rieder went to Las Vegas to review Sheldon Adelson’s management of Nevada’s largest newspaper. Editors at the paper credit the major GOP donor with revitalizing the Las Vegas Review-Journal -- but there are persistent questions about whether the newsroom has lost independence in the process.