Sabatos Crystal Ball

Archive for April, 2011

What Fuels Presidential Approval?

The Link Between Gas Prices and Presidential Approval Ratings

, U.Va. Center for Politics

With gas prices soaring as summer vacations near, many optimistic Republicans and nervous Democrats are left wondering about what impact those prices will have on President Obama’s reelection chances. High gas prices, they point out, sank Jimmy Carter in 1980 and added to the baggage George W. Bush passed on to Republican nominee John McCain […]

2012 Presidential Nominating Process: It’s Time for the States

, Senior Columnist

The two major parties have done their job in terms of setting the parameters for the 2012 presidential nominating process. Now, it is time for the states to fill in the blanks. And what they do in that regard over the next few months could go a long way in determining who wins next year’s […]


The Crystal Ball’s First 2011 Take on 2012’s Electoral College

, Director, U.Va. Center for Politics

With 18 months to go until November 2012, there is exactly one use for a current projection of the 2012 Electoral College results. This is merely a baseline from which we can judge more reliable projections made closer to the election. Where did we start–before we knew the identity of the Republican nominee for president, […]

South by Southwest

An Improbable Path to a Second Obama Term

, Political Analyst, Sabato's Crystal Ball

The classic Alfred Hitchcock thriller “North by Northwest” contains a few of Hollywood’s most memorable–and ludicrous–sequences, including a famous scene in which our hero, played by Cary Grant, finds himself being shot at by a crop duster at a bus stop near a cornfield. In the spirit of the seemingly preposterous, consider a path to […]


, Senior Columnist

Between 1932 and 1994, Democrats controlled the U.S. House of Representatives for 58 of 62 years. Since then, however, party control has changed three times, with Republicans controlling the House from 1995 through 2006, Democrats from 2007 through 2010, and Republicans since then. It seems clear that neither party has a lock on the House […]


, Guest Columnists

If Barack Obama’s political standing is helped by a slowly recovering economy, talk among Democrats will quickly turn to taking back the House. However, control of the House of Representatives after the 2012 elections will still belong to the Republicans. There are three compelling arguments for why Republicans will keep the House. These three factors […]

A Declining Constituency

Union Voters and the Democratic Party

, Senior Columnist

Recent events in Wisconsin and a number of other states have focused attention on the role played by labor unions in contemporary American politics. As Scott Walker and other conservative Republican governors have sought to reduce the power of public employee unions in their states by weakening collective bargaining rights, the unions and their supporters […]

Swept Back In – Or Swept Right Out

, Political Analyst, Sabato's Crystal Ball

We at the Crystal Ball are pleased to welcome a new staffer to our precincts, Kyle Kondik. A former journalist from Ohio and a current political junkie extraordinaire, Kyle loves the facts and figures of elections, as you will see with his first offering on this website. Kyle previously served as Director of Policy and […]

Tweets of the Week

, Director, U.Va. Center for Politics

The Crystal Ball’s Tweets of the Week is a look back at the highlights of the past week in politics in snippets of 140 characters or less. To get this analysis as soon as news breaks, follow University of Virginia Center for Politics Director, and Crystal Ball founder, Larry Sabato on Twitter by clicking here. […]