Sabato's Crystal Ball

Archive for May, 2008

The “Controversial” Caucuses:

An Outsized Influence in 2008

, Senior Columnist

Maybe one of the most intriguing – and nefarious – aspects of this long-running Democratic presidential campaign is that the legitimacy of the system itself has come into question. Doubts, to be sure, have been raised about the role of the unelected “superdelegates”. But the campaign of Hillary Clinton has fingered a different villain for […]

Can Mccain Overcome the Triple Whammy?

Electoral Barometer Shows Democratic Advantage

, Guest Columnist

With the long and contentious Democratic nomination race finally winding down, the attention of the media and the public is beginning to shift to the general election. In November, voters will face a choice between two rather atypical presidential candidates. For the first time in over fifty years, the party that controls the White House […]

Obama’s Next Challenge:

Turning Primary Losses Into Electoral Votes

, Senior Columnist

As Barack Obama prepares to move from the primary to the general election phase of the 2008 presidential election, he faces a new challenge which combines both – to bring many of the states where he suffered primary losses this winter and spring into the Democratic column this fall. Obama has expressed confidence that he […]

This Is Not Your Father’s (or Mother’s) Democratic Party:

The White Working Class, Democrats and the 2008 Election

, Guest Columnist

Forget about soccer moms and NASCAR dads. The key voting bloc in 2008 is the white working class. According to the new conventional wisdom of American politics, the presidential candidate who can win the support of white working class voters will have the inside track on becoming the next president of the United States. Moreover, […]

Mccain’s Vice-President?

Mitt Romney as running mate

, Special Guest Columnist

The presidential Democrats may still be tussling, but soon the national focus will turn to the vice presidential selection frenzy. The Crystal Ball has long discussed the possible candidates on both sides, but which contender should each nominee select? The Crystal Ball does not endorse or support any candidate for any office, but we asked […]

Obama’s Vice-President?

Jim Webb as running mate

, Special Guest Columnist

The presidential Democrats may still be tussling, but soon the national focus will turn to the vice presidential selection frenzy. The Crystal Ball has long discussed the possible candidates on both sides, but which contender should each nominee select? The Crystal Ball does not endorse or support any candidate for any office, but we asked […]

Old Math, New Math, and the Dispute Over the “Popular Vote”

Little consensus on measure of primary participation

, Director, U.Va. Center for Politics

Give Hillary Clinton credit. She has shown toughness, stamina, and persistence in one of the longest presidential campaigns in American history. She has fought hard and come back time and again in the 2008 primary season, defying the pundits who insisted on writing her political obituary prematurely. She has held the charismatic phenomenon named Barack […]

The Incredible Shrinking Republican Base

Societal trends reshaping the American electorate

, Guest Columnist

Discussions of the current political situation and comparisons between the 2008 election and earlier contests frequently overlook a crucial fact. As a result of changes in American society, today’s electorate is very different from the electorate of twenty, thirty, or forty years ago. Three long-term trends have been especially significant in this regard: increasing racial […]