Traditional Northern and Midwestern swing states like Pennsylvania and Ohio are likely to lose electoral votes and congressional seats, while states like Texas and Arizona — which aren’t swing states now but are becoming more competitive — are likely to gain them. Florida, which is already among the swingiest swing states, will also likely gain seats. That means Trump’s strategy of appealing to Rust Belt voters could be less successful in future races.

For nearly 700 miles along the American border with Mexico, a wall already exists ... The border spans 1,900 miles across four states – California, New Mexico, Arizona and Texas ... About 40 miles past Ciudad Juárez, the wall of metal mesh abruptly ends, like a half-finished thought. The remaining border is marked by the Rio Grande. But hundreds of miles in rural Texas, including Big Bend National Park, are unfenced and lack any man-made barriers or walls whatsoever.

Workers also will receive substantial raises in states carried by President-elect Donald Trump. In Arizona, the hourly minimum will increase from $8.05 to $10. The floor will increase from $7.50 to $9 in Maine, from $8.50 to $8.90 in Michigan and from $8 to $8.50 in Arkansas ... Polling by the Public Religion Research Institute last year found that 3 in 5 Republicans and nearly 3 in 4 independent voters would support increasing the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10.

A crucial question...is whether the increases this year are a one-time market correction or a sign that the Obamacare markets have become unstable. There are several good reasons to think 2017 is an unusual year for these markets ... But one worrisome sign for the future ... there are a growing number of places where there is no real competition ... about 18 percent of people eligible for Obamacare plans live in places where there is only one choice of insurer.

it’s impossible to ignore that polling places are being closed on a major scale in states with a very ugly history of suppressing voting rights, like Louisiana and Mississippi. “Since Shelby, 61 percent of Louisiana parishes have closed a total of 101 polling places since 2012,” says the report. “About 34 percent of all Mississippi counties surveyed have closed polling places since Shelby, resulting in at least 44 fewer polling places for the 2016 election.”

The Brennan Center for Justice identifies fifteen states that have new voting restrictions in place for the first time for the 2016 presidential election, and five more that have had restrictions in place since the 2012 election. These include several states considered “battlegrounds” in the upcoming presidential election, or that have competitive elections for Senate seats, including Florida, Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa, New Hampshire, Virginia, Illinois, and Arizona.

the state stands as a microcosm and test of this year’s cross-cutting political currents: the changing American Southwest and rising Latino vote; the divided Republican Party; and the demographic clash highlighted by Trump’s divisive campaign. What better illustration could there be of the fractured Republican Party, after all, than a single ballot that features Trump; Senator John McCain, whom Trump memorably insulted; and Arpaio, whose media-fueled immigration provocations prefigured Trump?

Although the hackers did not alter any data, the intrusion marks the first successful compromise of a state voter registration database ... Until now, countries such as Russia and China have shown little interest in voting systems in the United States. But experts said that if a foreign government gained the ability to tamper with voter data — for instance by deleting registration records — such a hack could cast doubt on the legitimacy of U.S. elections.

If there are enough cars on a highway, any minor disruptions to the flow of traffic can cause a self-reinforcing chain reaction: one car brakes slightly, and the ones behind it brake just a bit more to avoid hitting it, with the braking eventually amplifying until it produces a wave of stopped or slowed traffic ... Even when cars leave this traffic wave, though, the wave itself doesn't disappear: it gradually drifts backward, against the direction of traffic.

A recent report about the economic impact of drop-outs in the Grand Canyon State shows the 20 percent drop-out rate – equating to about 18,100 student dropping out each year – results in a lifetime economic loss of $7.6 billion. And in Tucson, the state's second-largest city, a 22 percent drop-out rate – equating to about 1,140 students dropping out each year – means a $435 million lifetime economic loss for the city.