Sabato's Crystal Ball

Archive for October, 2008

The Last Word–almost

The Crystal Ball's Next-to-Last Projections for the 2008 Election

, Director, U.Va. Center for Politics

These are our 2008 election projections as of Thursday, October 30. We will make final adjustments and tweaks on Monday afternoon, November 3, and post them to the website. At that point, we will attempt to call the few remaining toss-ups. We wish everyone the best possible Election Day, with congratulations to the winners and […]

House Race Update

Democratic Domination Continues

, Crystal Ball, U.Va. Center for Politics

Every week it seems to get worse for House Republicans. As we will demonstrate below, we have expanded the number of possible to likely net gains for Democrats from our previous 15 to 20 to a new and rather astounding 22 to 27 seats. The past week has been a wild one for congressional races […]

Democratic Wave Continues to Build

Obama Maintains Clear Lead, Democrats Gain More Ground in Congress

, Director, U.Va. Center for Politics

Back in 2002 and 2004, the Crystal Ball brought misery to Democrats and joy to Republicans, as we projected the solid GOP victories that occurred in those years. The cycle of politics is not to be denied, and so in 2006 and now in 2008, there is a role reversal. With each passing week, we […]

Electoral College Update: October 16

, Director, U.Va. Center for Politics

OVERALL: John McCain’s position in the Electoral College continued to deteriorate in the previous seven days. We are making the following adjustments, accordingly. AR from Solid McCain to Likely McCain: The financial meltdown is lowering McCain’s percentage here, but as of now, we do not believe a McCain win is seriously threatened. If Bill Clinton […]

U.s. Senate Update

, Director, U.Va. Center for Politics

The Crystal Ball’s ratings for the 25 U.S. Senate contests have held up nicely since we last published them on October 2. However, as is normal in any election campaign, late developments have changed the ratings in a couple of contests. In both cases, it is more bad news for Republicans. GEORGIA: Here is a […]

Democrats Roll in U.s. House Races

Party Now Certain to Add Significant Number to Current Majority

, Crystal Ball, U.Va. Center for Politics

The good news just keeps on coming for Democrats. As we discussed last week, presidential nominee Barack Obama is the clear favorite to win a substantial victory in the race for the White House (see updated Electoral College map, HERE). Democratic Senate candidates are doing so well that the party will add at least six […]

The Battle for the Middle

A Look at the Vice Presidential Debate

, Guest Viewpoint

The frenzied media probably found the first vice-presidential debate disappointing. Even after 90 minutes, neither the well-seasoned gaffe-machine nor the novice interview-bungler produced much fodder for an SNL skit or the headline news. Instead, both candidates waged a strategic battle for the middle to win over the middle class and independent voters. Palin portrayed herself […]

Is the Electoral Dam Breaking for Obama?

Crystal Ball Has Obama Over 270 for First Time--With Potential for Many More

, Director, U.Va. Center for Politics

All season, political observers have been speculating when, if ever, the Electoral College and the state and national polls would reflect the basic pro-Democratic fundamentals of the presidential election year. Those fundamentals, historic true-blues (pun intended in this case), include presidential popularity (the Republican incumbent is at rock-bottom), a horribly weak economy, and a disliked […]

Statehouse ’08 Update

, Director, U.Va. Center for Politics

There are just eleven governorships up for grabs from coast to coast, six currently held the Democrats and five by the Republicans: State Incumbent Last Election Percentage Candidacy Status Dem. Nominee GOP Nominee Delaware Ruth Minner 51 Term limited Jack Markell Bill Lee Indiana Mitch Daniels 53 Running Jill Long Thompson Mitch Daniels Missouri Matt […]

Thirty Days and Counting

The Outlook for the 2008 Presidential Election in Early October

, Guest Columnist

With one month remaining in the 2008 presidential campaign, national and state polling data indicate that Barack Obama holds a clear lead over John McCain. In the past sixty days, despite a series of dramatic events including the Democratic and Republican national conventions, John McCain’s surprise selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running-mate, […]

Senate Sensibilities – The October 2008 Update

Democrats Continue on a Roll

, Director, U.Va. Center for Politics

There are a few changes to report in the nation’s Senate races since we last reviewed them in July-almost all of them in favor of the Democratic candidates. Yet the fundamental outlook hasn’t changed terribly much. The Democrats will pick up a fair number of seats to pad their slim 51-to-49 margin. They are defending […]

Democrats Winning the Registration Wars

, Senior Columnist

The presidential debate season is just underway. The polls are in flux. The issue agenda–which has already shifted in the last month from the Sarah Palin effect to “lipstick on a pig” to the nation’s worst economic crisis since the Depression–may shift again before Election Day. But one important factor has remained constant: the Democrats’ […]