Election 2016

NPR Election Battleground Map

NPR Battleground Map: Ahead Of The Conventions, Where Does The Race Stand?

Credit: Alyson Hurt and Domenico Montanaro/NPR | July 18, 2016 | Source & Photo: NPR

This past month has seen lots of news events with potential consequences to politics — controversial police shootings in Minnesota and Baton Rouge, La., followed by the killing of police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge. Plus, there was the horrific incident in Nice, France, that saw scores killed when a man drove a truck through a crowd watching fireworks on Bastille Day.

That's in addition to FBI Director James Comey's thwacking of Hillary Clinton for her use of a private email server. While Comey recommended no criminal charges against her, it did not help her already tarnished image. Still, Republican Donald Trump seemed incapable of capitalizing on any of it — tweeting an image of a six-pointed star on the day Clinton was interviewed by the FBI, and then, at an event after the FBI announcement, praising Saddam Hussein for his ability to kill terrorists; and botching the rollout of his vice presidential pick, Mike Pence.

Donald Trump shakes hands with the man he picked to be his running mate, Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana, on Saturday in New York.

Trump hopes to capture the moment this week, at the GOP convention, which kicks off Monday with a focus on law and order. The theme of the first night, for example, is "Make America Safe Again." (Candidates historically can get a 5- to 7-point bounce out of conventions.)

It's not clear how any of this will play out, and politics feels in flux right now. Any predictions of exactly what's going to be happen should be taken with hefty grains of salt. Let's see where things stand a few weeks after both parties' conventions when attitudes settle in. (Democrats hold their convention next week in Philadelphia.)

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