Sabato's Crystal Ball

Archive for July, 2008

Close Presidential Elections:

Not the American norm

, Senior Columnist

For those voters who have come of age in the 21st century, the extremely close presidential elections of 2000 and 2004 must seem like the norm. But that is hardly the case. Over the course of American history, there have been more presidential elections decided by landslide margins than have been determined by narrow margins. […]

Vice President Tim Kaine?

Pros and Cons of a New Dominion Decision

, Director, U.Va. Center for Politics

We have no earthly idea if Virginia Governor Tim Kaine is Obama’s choice for Vice President. All we know is that distinguished reporters who claim to have good sources are calling and saying that Kaine is on the short-short list. Since the Crystal Ball is based in Virginia, and since we have followed Tim Kaine’s […]

Response: Anybody’s Ball Game

, Guest Columnist

In their examination of the fundamentals and the polls to this point in the 2008 election, my esteemed colleagues Alan Abramowitz, Tom Mann, and Larry Sabato indicate that they believe that the presidential election is essentially a done deal. As they see the 2008 story developing, Barack Obama will win a comfortable victory, if not […]

Tracking the 2008 Presidential Election

, Guest Columnist

If you’re a political junkie like me, and if you’re reading this article there’s a pretty good chance you are, then you’re probably addicted to the Gallup and Rasmussen tracking polls. Where else can you follow the ups and downs of the presidential race every day? I can hardly wait to get my daily fix […]

The Myth of a Toss-Up Election

“Too close to call.” “Within the margin of error.” “A statistical dead heat.” If you’ve been following news coverage of the 2008 presidential election, you’re probably familiar with these phrases. Media commentary on the presidential horserace, reflecting the results of a series of new national polls, has strained to make a case for a hotly […]

A New Electorate in the Making?

, Senior Columnist

Speculation abounds these days about whether this fall’s presidential election will produce a dramatically different electoral map than the virtually static one of the last two contests. Will Colorado and Virginia lead an array of longtime Republican states that might be won this time by Democrat Barack Obama? Or might Michigan and Pennsylvania be in […]

Does Obama Have a Problem With White Voters?

, Guest Columnist

“Poll Finds Obama’s Run Isn’t Closing Divide on Race,” reads the headline on the front page of the July 16th New York Times. The article beneath the headline observes that despite Barack Obama’s candidacy, the results of a new CBS/New York Times Poll show that American society is still deeply divided along racial lines. Blacks […]

Time to Change the Unit Rule

And avoid a potential electoral calamity

, Director, U.Va. Center for Politics

Want to fix an election? No, I’m not proposing any Election Day shenanigans, but rather some preventive maintenance for a very old machine. Our system of electing a President is nothing short of chaotic, and it can be confusing even to the most seasoned political observer. Goodness knows, it could be done better, from shortening […]

The Map

The Crystal Ball's First Look at November's Electoral College

, Director, U.Va. Center for Politics

Nobody now knows the exact contours of the November 4th Electoral College map. Nobody will know them until after the polls have closed. But except for the guessing game about the vice presidential nominations, there’s no greater fun to be had in July. So the Crystal Ball is pleased to unveil our best estimates more […]

Is Time on John Mccain’s Side?

The Nomination Gap and the 2008 Presidential Election

, Guest Columnist

In a recent Crystal Ball article, Michael Baudinet of the University of Virginia Center for Politics argued that despite a very difficult national political environment for Republicans, John McCain has a good chance of winning the 2008 presidential election because he enjoys one key advantage over his Democratic rival, Barack Obama: McCain clinched his party’s […]