Tax cuts and GOP chaos.

With President Trump out of town on his tour of Asia, American politics moved on two distinct tracks this week. The off-year election on Tuesday offered disastrous results for Republicans — most notably in Virginia but also extending to some state legislative elections in Georgia, New Hampshire, and Washington, plus a governor’s race in New Jersey. And explosive new allegations against the GOP’s candidate in an upcoming Alabama Senate race at least raise the prospect of a dramatic upset by Democrats in a deep-red state.

Meanwhile, on a parallel track, congressional Republicans pushed ahead with their plans to enact a large tax cut primarily focused on helping business owners and inheritors of large, multimillion-dollar estates. House and Senate GOP leadership have each unveiled different pieces of legislation that differ in crucial respects but share that primary goal. And while the overall prospects for the project remain uncertain, forward progress continues at a rapid pace even amid the growing swirl of bad electoral news.

Here’s what you need to know.

Democrats won a landslide in Virginia

A Democratic win in Tuesday’s Virginia gubernatorial race was not shocking — Hillary Clinton won the state, Democrats’ candidate was the incumbent lieutenant governor, Donald Trump’s approval rating is low, and Dems were up in the polls — but Ralph Northam ended up winning by a considerably larger margin than pollsters had forecast, and Democrats also won far more state legislative seats than nearly anyone thought possible.

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Supporters of Ralph Northam, the Democratic candidate for governor of Virginia, celebrate as early projections indicated a Northam victory at an election night rally on November 7.