Ratings Change: 7 States Shift Toward Clinton in Electoral College
Democrat projected to win 332 electoral votes — she needs 270 to win

Donald Trump appears to be drowning in the wake of the conventions.

The Canaries in the Collapsing Trump Coal Mine
Pro-Trump down-ballot Republicans find their fortunes sinking

North Carolina Sen. Richard M. Burr, an early backer of Donald Trump, faces a tough re-election fight in the Tar Heel state. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

There was a time in the early summer of 2016, after Donald Trump seemed to have locked up the Republican presidential nomination but before he attacked an Indiana judge as “Mexican” and picked a ruthless fight with a Gold Star family, that embracing Trump as a down-ticket candidate seemed like a gamble worth taking.

For newcomers, it would be a way to both get early media attention and surf off the best of the Trump brand to tell voters they were a new kind of candidate, too. For incumbents, going full-Trump was the path of least resistance — a way to stay loyal to the party and its likely nominee, and associate with the man who was, against all odds, clobbering the competition in their states.

Ratings Changes in Two Top Senate Races
Mixed news for two of the most vulnerable Republican incumbents

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio's decision to seek re-election didn't change the rating in the Senate race in Florida. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

While Donald Trump’s presidential campaign appears to be spinning wildly out of control most days and is potentially cratering from lack of support from GOP voters, Republican senators are trying to maintain some independence in order to weather the storm and keep the chamber in GOP hands.

With the conventions in the rearview mirror, the electoral landscape is settling in search of a new baseline for the general election sprint. Fresh polling conducted after the conventions shows that Trump is hemorrhaging Republican voters and thus getting crushed in the typical presidential swing states.

Poll Shows More Now Prefer Democrats Control Congress
Post-convention survey shows Clinton widening lead as well

More voters now prefer Democrats in control Congress amid Hillary Clinton's post convention bounce. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

More voters now prefer that Democrats control Congress than before the two parties' conventions, a new poll shows.   

The NBC/Wall Street Journal poll , conducted from July 31 to August 3, showed 47 percent of voters preferred Democrats controlling Congress compared to 43 percent of voters who preferred Republican control. In June, the same poll was tied at 46 percent.  

What Are Undecided Voters Thinking About the Election?
How those mulling a presidential pick stand on key issues

The general election has kicked off following the party conventions in Cleveland and Philadelphia. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Election Law Ground Wars Underway in Federal Courts
Decisions on photo ID, polling locations and registration could affect turnout

The Democratic National Committee under Debbie Wasserman Schultz filed a lawsuit over Arizona voting provisions it says disenfranchises minorities (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With the conventions over and Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton locked in a close contest, a ground-level fight for an edge in the presidential race will unfold this summer in the nation’s courts.  

Legal challenges to state election laws are still working through federal courts and possibly on to the Supreme Court this fall. The outcome of those cases on issues such as photo identification, polling locations and registration could affect voter turnout in about a dozen swing states.  

The GOP's New Trump Test
Republicans had been confident they could weather controversies from their party's new leader — until now

United States Senator John McCain reads the headlines announcing Trump's Republican National Convention victory as the party's nominee as he rides the train to the Grand Canyon out of Williams, Arizona Wednesday morning. (Daniel A. Anderson)

Most congressional Republicans have stuck to a simple and — thus far — successful formula for handling Donald Trump’s frequent provocations: Denounce the comment, reaffirm support for the ticket, change the subject.    

This week, that strategy faces its sternest test.  

Post-Convention Polls Show Dead Heat Among Independents
One poll has Clinton's support surging

Two polls released since the end of the Democratic convention show Hillary Clinton getting a sizable bounce in public opinion. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Independents are still split between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in the presidential race, and almost a quarter are undecided, according to two polls released after both party's conventions.  

Slightly more self-identified independents would vote Republican for president, according to a new Public Policy Polling survey  with 41 percent picking the GOP and 39 percent going Democratic. Twenty percent of independents said they're still undecided. The question did not specifically identify the two nominees.   

Trump Digs in Against Khan Backlash
Doubles down on criticism of Muslim family amid weekend of bad news

Despite a weekend of negative press, Donald Trump shows no sign of backtracking on his recent comments. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Donald Trump on Monday doubled down on his criticism of an American Muslim family whose son was killed in Iraq, stating in an early morning tweet that Khizr Khan, the soldier's father was, "all over TV" spreading "vicious" attacks.  

The Republican nominee's remarks came as he stumbled out of the box as the candidates headed into the final 100 days of the presidential campaign with the conventions behind them. Trump's tweet Monday suggests that he will follow the same strategy he has used throughout his nontraditional campaign: Rather than acknowledge criticism, he will dig in and fire back.  

Hillary Clinton: The Star of Both Conventions
Democrats were more willing than Republicans to talk about their nominee

Hillary Clinton makes her entrance on the Wells Fargo Center stage in Philadelphia Thursday night. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

After reporting last week that speakers at the Republican National Convention chose to attack their opponent more than support their candidate, we quickly heard from some people who were sure the Democratic convention would be no different.