Sabato's Crystal Ball

Archive for July, 2004

Balloons and Confetti a Nominating Convention Make

, Senior Writer

Just five days ago, John Kerry’s pitch at Fenway Park didn’t make it past home plate, but his pitch last night to the Democratic National Convention was a home run. Your Crystal Ball will spare you the barrage of cliches reserved for the headlines of today’s newspapers, but Kerry was a bit eloquent and personal […]

Low-Carb Convention Wrap

, Senior Correspondent

Get Comfortable and Settle in, as Minuteman Becomes Hour-Man According to a report published in National Journal’s Convention Daily, published each morning this week here in Boston, John Kerry’s Secret Service nickname is “Minuteman,” after the militia members in the Revolutionary War who were charged to be ready at a minute’s notice and who fought […]

Boston Morning Tea

, Senior Correspondent

Does Edwards have Recipe for Success? Any American chef worth his or her salt knows what happens when you combine black eyed peas, a little bit of ham for flavor, some rice, and a few other ingredients. The result is a traditional Southern side-dish known as Hoppin’ John. Last night at the Democratic National Convention, […]

Low-Carb Convention Wrap

, Senior Correspondent

Gentlemen, Start Your Engines While you don’t hear the term bandied about much anymore, the hot topic earlier in the campaign season was “NASCAR Dads,” 2004’s trendy demographic group that was purported to take the place of the quickly-fading-from-popularity “Soccer Moms.” NASCAR Dads were often described as middle- to lower middle-class family men who typically […]

Boston Morning Tea

, Senior Correspondent

If a Political Tree Falls in the Woods… With no live network coverage of Tuesday night’s convention speeches, their impact on the American public is limited to news highlights, newspaper articles, and word of mouth. Save for keynote speaker Barack Obama and Teresa Heinz Kerry, who closed the evening, most of the podium-dwellers lacked a […]

Low-Carb Convention Wrap

, Senior Correspondent

Old Guard, Young Blood Tonight’s agenda of speakers shows a marked difference between the first evening session and the second evening session, with a recognizable slate of long-serving Democrats addressing the convention early, and a fresh line up of new faces wrapping up the evening. Other than The O.C.’s Benjamin McKenzie, most of the early […]

Boston Morning Tea

, Senior Correspondent

Opening Night By the time the second evening session started, most of the seats in the Fleet Center were filled–even those behind the stage, with obstructed views and a less than preferable position behind the speaker clusters. Former President Jimmy Carter led off with an impassioned speech that was very critical of the current administration, […]

Low-Carb Convention Wrap

, Senior Correspondent

For Whom the Gavel Drops Democratic National Committee chair Terry McAuliffe officially banged the convention to order this afternoon at 4PM, opening the first afternoon session which will feature quite a few speakers and take care of the convention’s parliamentary business in preparation for this evening’s prime time agenda. Security around the Fleet Center is […]

Boston Morning Tea

, Senior Correspondent

The gavel drops later today, marking the official opening of the 2004 Democratic National Convention. Of course, convention related activities have been going on for several days now, including a welcome party for media organizations on Saturday. The Crystal Ball resisted the temptation to be wooed, and instead chose to spend its time in preparation […]

Let the Conventions Begin

Three observations from a convention veteran

, Director, U.Va. Center for Politics

As a veteran of 14 national political conventions–seven in each party–let me offer you, dear readers, a few brief observations. As usual, they will be somewhat contrarian and anti-conventional wisdom–which is my bent–but nonetheless true, I believe. Enjoy the convention but take nothing too seriously, except for John Kerry’s speech on Thursday night Pity our […]

The Last Hundred Days

How the '04 campaign plays out in parallel universes

, Director, U.Va. Center for Politics

Okay, the fun and games are over. The grim reality of Campaign ’04 is fully upon us. And there are two alternative realities, two parallel universes unfolding before us–only one of which can come mainly true. Much like Superman and Bizzaro Superman they exist in conflict, but eventually one will emerge as the real thing. […]

The Cheney Dilemma

, Director, U.Va. Center for Politics

As expected, the Kerry campaign has put George W. Bush in a box with the selection of John Edwards. And there is probably no way for Bush to win this part of the presidential battle. How has Bush been cornered? Almost any Democratic veep selection–not just Edwards–would have contrasted nicely with the incumbent vice president. […]

Veep! Veep! It’s Edwards!

Will Kerry prove wily in his choice for number two?

, Director, U.Va. Center for Politics

Our long wait is over, and John Kerry has given us all a lot to chew on with the selection of North Carolina U.S. Sen. John Edwards to be his Democratic Party running-mate for vice president. THE IMMEDIATE CONSEQUENCES in the Crystal Ball are twofold: We are changing North Carolina from Solid Bush to Leans […]