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Sahil Kapur

Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.

Articles by Sahil

With five days to go before Election Day, House forecasters roundly project that Republicans will expand their already robust majority, and potentially gain their largest advantage in the chamber since the Roaring Twenties.

Sabato's Crystal Ball projects a 9-seat gain for Republicans.

The Rothenberg Political Report projects the GOP will pick up somewhere between five and 12 seats.

The Cook Political Report projects a Republican net gain of 6 to 12 seats, "with slightly larger GOP gains not out of the question," according to an updated forecast released Wednesday.

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The end may be near for Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor of Arkansas, barring a huge surprise on Election Day.

A new poll by the University of Arkansas shows Republican Tom Cotton with a commanding 13-point lead among "very likely voters" in the state.

Cotton led Pryor by a 49-36 percent margin, well outside the margin of error of plus-or-minus 4.1 percentage points.

Fifteen percent didn't support either or didn't know.

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If Republicans win control of the Senate next week, as many expect, they will gain a powerful weapon to reshape President Barack Obama's legacy in his final two years: the authority to block his nominations.

Under a Democratic-led Senate, Obama has enjoyed remarkable success in confirming his executive appointees and remaking the federal courts in his image.

A recent New Yorker essay by legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin fleshed out Obama's contribution to the United States judiciary, which spans two Supreme Court justices, 53 appeals court judges and 223 trial court judges, all with lifetime tenure. Today 9 of 13 appeals courts, which have the last word on a vast majority of legal issues, have a Democratic majority; before he took office Republicans controlled 10 of 13.

"It's been absolutely huge," conservative legal scholar and Georgetown law professor Randy Barnett said of Obama's impact on the courts. "We've noticed patterns of voting with respect to certain kinds of legislation that gets upheld. There are certain executive branch practices that get upheld that would not have been upheld before."

Even Obama's executive branch picks have mostly been confirmed, though many have faced delays due to Republican filibusters and stalling tactics.

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Louisiana state officials wants scientists and medical researchers who have dealt with Ebola patients not to come to the state's annual American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene conference next week in New Orleans.

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It's crunch time in the midterm elections, and Democrats are pulling out all the stops to hold on to their endangered Senate majority, including reviving the specter of impeachment if they lose control.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) will sound the siren in an email set to be sent on Wednesday afternoon to the roughly 1 million members of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, a copy of which was viewed in advance by TPM.

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Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell isn't known to be a warm and fuzzy person. Unlike many elite politicians he doesn't have a knack for appearing relatable to the average voter.

More fitting adjectives for the Senate Republican leader that come to mind are guarded, brusque and ruthlessly calculating. His approval rating is underwater in Kentucky, according to a recent Bluegrass Poll.

So the 30-year incumbent, who's aspiring to be majority leader, is out with a pair of television ads trying to humanize him as a regular Joe in the final days of his tough reelection fight.

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President Barack Obama on Tuesday told Americans that the United States will defeat the Ebola virus and prevent an outbreak at home by acting "based on the science, based on the facts, based on the experience."

"This disease can be contained. It will be defeated," the president said in brief remarks at the White House, before a scheduled trip to Milwaukee.

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