Nate Cohn

Staff Writer

The polls are still open in Virginia, but early voting turnout data suggests that Terry McAuliffe is doing substantially better than the Democratic ticket four years ago.The number of early votes in counties that voted for President Obama increased by 48 percent, while early voting has increased by just 22 percent in Romney counties, as Michael McDonald documented for the Huffington Post.

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Nowadays, nothing looks good for the Republicans. Demographic and generational change is inexorably narrowing the GOP’s traditional path to victory, at a time when the party hasn’t shown any ability to broaden its appeal. The Republicans can’t take advantage of opportunities, either. Congressional Republicans have, somehow, managed to upstage an unpopular president presiding over mediocre economic growth and website “glitches.” Later today, Terry McAuliffe will likely be elected governor of a state.

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What do Americans think about dressing in blackface or as a racial stereotype for halloween? A YouGov survey shows that a plurality of Americans narrowly believe it's acceptable to dress in blackface by a 43-37 margin, and are split on dressing as a racial stereotype. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the racial and partisan divides are stark.

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That was fast: Polls now show the Democrats doing just the same as before the shutdown

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I’m pessimistic on the odds of a Democratic takeover of the House in November 2014. This November, "optimistic" understates my opinion of Terry McAuliffe's chances. At this point, the race is over. McAuliffe has built a 10 point lead in the polls and he’s outspending his opponent by a massive margin with one week to go. But it’s not because of the shutdown, and, even if it was, it wouldn't prove that the shutdown will carry Democrats back to power.

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Marijuana is America's Next Political Wedge Issue

Pot politics, in 2016 and beyond

Public opinion about legal pot has changed dramatically. Politicians are about to start catching up—and picking fights about it.

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If there’s anything I could get people to understand about the next election, it’s this: Even a 2006 or 2010-esque tsunami might not give Democrats control of the House.That might seem shocking. In 2006, Democrats won 31 seats; Republicans won 63 in 2010. Today, Democrats only need 17 seats—which might not sound like much.But the fact is that Republicans just aren’t exposed. To turn the “tsunami” into an extended metaphor, an unprecedented share of the Republican caucus has evacuated to high ground.

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A wave of new surveys shows that the shutdown took a toll on the Republicans, but less clear is whether it's enough to endanger the GOP House majority.

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Meet the 61 States of America

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I get the impression that a lot of people are getting tired of debating the details of PPP’s methodology, but I think it’s worth flagging a few recent polls in Georgia, which nicely illustrate the questions about their methodology.

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