i am only about 3 episodes into series 7 so NO SPOILERS PLEASE
but the santos/vinick stuff is really good isnt it? obviously you have to take it with a bit of a pinch of salt with the drama of it all and how much input the candidates themselves have in their campaigns (though call me on this if i'm wrong here, US politics buffs) but it's really compelling and well-paced and the characters so far have been really well explored. And, ultimately, it's believable.
ALSO i'm sure it's a point that's been made a million times before but it really is pretty interesting how many similarities it has/foreshadowing of a lot of elements of the Obama campaign, huh?
i dont know about the consensus as such but i'm sure i've read a few times that people think it dips towards the end, whereas for the first time during the show I can honestly say this is the best arc they've done. Honestly, bar the pretty hammy (but not that awful) 9/11 episode I think it's probably been the most consistent television i've ever seen, never really producing a bad storyline or episode (though admittedly there have been many standout moments/scenes/episodes) - I don't think it's gone through a single rough patch in 7 series is what i'm saying, I guess.