Sabato's Crystal Ball

Archive for June, 2009

That Wild and Wacky Senate

Some Updates on the Upcoming 2010 Senate Showdown

, Director, U.Va. Center for Politics

Follow Larry Sabato on Twitter. So much has happened recently in many of the 2010 Senate contests that you would think we were in the middle of the election year. We’re still seventeen months out from Election Day, yet the battles are turning white hot in many states. Let’s take a look at what has […]

Virginia Gubernatorial Rematch

Will 2009 reflect past trends or overturn them?

, Guest Columnist

Barack Obama owes his presidency in part to his campaign’s mastery of the internet. A corps of online Obama enthusiasts helped him identify and mobilize previously-hidden groups of voters–particularly those under 30–and build an historic fundraising apparatus. In much of the country, Republicans were left with a clear majority only among older and rural voters, […]

Off-Off Year Elections

They Seem Important at the Time

, Director, U.Va. Center for Politics

People who live for politics appreciate what real votes in real elections mean. It’s pure heroin for junkies. There is no cold turkey like the one between the end of a presidential election and the midterm election that occurs two full years later. The presidential high–the flood of votes in all fifty states for the […]

Back to the Future for Obama

Comparing the 2004 and 2008 Presidential Elections

, Senior Columnist

Barack Obama’s victory in the 2008 presidential election represented one of the most dramatic shifts in political power in American history. In terms of both style and substance, the contrast between Obama and George W. Bush is perhaps as great as that between any incoming and outgoing presidents in the modern era. Yet the historic […]

Who’s Afraid of Big Government? Not Us

, Senior Columnist

Barack Obama has been pulling the wool over the eyes of the American people. At least that’s what some conservative pundits are claiming. Despite his current popularity, commentators such as Michael Barone, Dick Morris, and Karl Rove are predicting that Mr. Obama’s approval ratings will come crashing down to earth once the public understands what […]

Why Do We Talk About Judges This Way?

, Guest Columnist

Nobody in America believes the judicial confirmation system works. Not the senators who eat up precious questioning time with windy speeches about pet projects back home; not the interest groups who scour every sordid instant of a nominee’s background for evidence that they are unfit for the bench; and not the American public, whose experiences […]

“Questioning the Constitution” Documentary Wins International Award of Excellence

International Academy of the Visual Arts Honors Center for Politics and Community Ideas Station Produced Film

“Questioning the Constitution,” a 2008 documentary produced by the University of Virginia Center for Politics and the Community Ideas Stations, has received the Award of Excellence, given annually by the International Academy of Visual Arts (IAVA). The Award of Excellence is the IAVA’s highest distinction. The organization receives more than 9,000 nominations each year for […]

Supremely Representative

Should the Nation's Highest Court Look Like America?

, Guest Columnist

The U.S. Constitution is utterly silent on qualifications for members of the federal judiciary. Theoretically, a justice does not even have to be a lawyer, but, in practice, all 110 justices in the Supreme Court’s 220-year history have been attorneys. With no constitutionally mandated selection criteria, presidents have been free to determine the standards by […]