In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Democrats are gaining ground in six Senate races, and it has everything to do with it becoming increasingly clear that Donald Trump or Ted Cruz will be the Republican Party's presidential nominee.

According to a newly released analysis by the University of Virginia's Center for Politics, senate races in Iowa, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Missouri and North Carolina are looking to be more favorable for Democrats than previously predicted as moderate and independent voters grow disillusioned with the GOP.

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Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) said in a court filing Wednesday that he was "deeply sorry" for decades-old misconduct and "prepared to accept responsibility" for his actions.

A sentencing memo filed by Hastert's lawyers, in which they asked for probation, did not specify the "unfortunate and harmful incidents he caused decades ago."

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With its unanimous decision in Evenwel v. Abbott, the Supreme Court sent a strong message that it was not interested in upending a decades-old interpretation of the foundational principle: one person, one vote. The question is, will the conservative forces who pushed the case listen?

Voting rights advocates saw the decision as a slam-dunk victory that rejected a challenge they contended was a long-shot to begin with. However, the conservative legal activist who brought the lawsuit is claiming he has found a silver lining and is hinting at a coming crusade to take another swing at one person, one vote. While two of the justices seemed at least open to taking another look at “one person, one vote” if another lawsuit showed up at their doorstep, bringing it there would be an uphill challenge.

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The Department of Justice is investigating the decision by election officials in Maricopa County, Arizona, to reduce the number of polling places by about two-thirds ahead of a presidential primary that was wrought with turmoil.

Elizabeth Bartholomew, a spokesperson for Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell, the county's top election official, confirmed to TPM Monday that the local elections agency had received a letter from the feds Friday requesting the data the county used when it decided to set up only 60 vote centers. That the office had received the letter was first reported by the Huffington Post.

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton had sent a letter to the Department of Justice requesting an investigation in which he argued that minority communities were disproportionately affected by the distribution of the vote centers.

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The Supreme Court unanimously ruled against challengers seeking to change the long-held interpretation of the principle of one person, one vote. Siding with a lower court, the 8-member high court held that total population could be used to draw electoral districts.

The decision for the case, Evenwel v. Abbott, was written by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Justice Samuel Alito and Justice Clarence Thomas each filed concurring opinions.

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Hillary Clinton and allies of her campaign are using remarks Donald Trump made Wednesday suggesting that women should be punished for seeking abortions to bash Clinton's Democratic presidential rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). Sanders condemned Trump’s remarks, but signaled he wanted to move on from talking about the controversy.

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The chairman of the Virgin Islands Republican Party issued a scathing memo late Wednesday accusing "newcomers to our party" of "undermin[ing] the well-established processes spelled out" by the party rules. In the memo, V.I. GOP Chair John Canegata said "a few voices" have caused "a controversy where a controversy need not exist."

"This is the same group that enjoys being obstructionist on virtually everything our party has tried to do over the last four years," Canegata said.

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For months, the major concern the anti-abortion movement had with Donald Trump was that he was too wobbly on the issue. But on Wednesday, Trump staked out an abortion position so extreme that he blew up years of abortion foes’ careful messaging.

Trump’s remark at an MSNBC town hall that an abortion ban should carry a punishment for women who seek out the procedure sent anti-abortion activists immediately scrambling to correct the damage.

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Political observers have wondered for months whether Donald Trump’s unconventional, “political outsider” campaign would put him at a disadvantage if the Republican presidential race were to come down to the wire. Now, a fight stemming from the complicated process of selecting convention delegates suggests it has.

The Trump campaign is currently in a tizzy over a development regarding Louisiana’s delegation to the Republican National Convention. While Trump narrowly defeated Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) in the state's primary earlier this month, a recent Wall Street Journal report suggested that Cruz will head to Cleveland with more Louisiana delegates than the real estate mogul, prompting Trump to accuse Cruz of trying to "steal" delegates.

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