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Where Are the Obama Scandals?

, Guest Columnist

One of the least remarked upon aspects of the Obama presidency has been the lack of scandals. Since Watergate, presidential and executive branch scandal has been an inescapable feature of the American presidency, but the current administration has not yet suffered a major scandal, which I define as a widespread elite perception of wrongdoing. What [...]

Will Obama Need to Find His Inner “Wilson?”

, Senior Columnist

Take a poll of political pundits about next year’s presidential election, and most at this point would probably predict that President Barack Obama would win reelection, but with a reduced margin from 2008 in both the popular and electoral vote. Yet if that actually happens, it would be an historical rarity of the first order.
Most [...]

On to the Senate, With a Detour in the House

, U. Va. Center for Politics

Right now, first-term Rep. Rick Berg (R-ND) looks likely to be elected to the Senate seat left open by the retirement of Kent Conrad (D) in November 2012. The Crystal Ball wondered: How rare is it for someone to get such a fast elevation from the House to the Senate? (We realize some House members [...]

Racial Voting Surge: Obama’s Re-Election and the Democrats’ 2006 Senate Class

, Guest Columnist

After two strong congressional cycles in 2006 and 2008, the Democrats were “shellacked” by Republicans in 2010. As the 2012 cycle approaches, uncertainty prevails for both parties: Each is trying to hold or expand its majority in one chamber while attempting to weaken and maybe topple the opposition in the other.
The Democrats built their current [...]

Ny-26 Special Election: Mind the Debate, Forget the Decision

, Political Analyst

The nation got a preview of the Democrats’ sweeping congressional election victories in 2010 when Democratic candidates pulled off victories in three close special House elections. The results were just the first of many for Democrats in the last cycle, when…
Err, wait a second, let’s start over here.
Democrats lost 63 net House seats in last [...]

The Race Factor: White Racial Attitudes and Opinions of Obama

, Senior Columnist

In 2008, Barack Obama used massive majorities among African Americans and other nonwhites to overcome a large deficit among white voters and win the presidency. Thirty months later, opinions about his performance remain deeply divided along racial lines. Moreover, persistent questions about Obama’s place of birth and religion have raised the question of what role [...]

The Geography of Power: A Political Map of Virginia

, Director, U. Va. Center for Politics

Every 10 years the quietly methodical Census leads to blood on the floor of most state legislatures, as members try to convert the population numbers into districts from which they and their fellow politicians in the U.S. House will run for reelection. If anything, there’s even more blood flowing than usual in 2011.
The political maneuverings [...]

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.

10:25 [...]

The President and the Democrats, Post-Bin Laden

Why the political payoff might come later rather than sooner

, Political Analyst

The death of Osama bin Laden, inflicted by crack U.S. Special Forces personnel acting on the orders of President Barack Obama, is undoubtedly a triumph for the embattled commander in chief. But will it provide him tangible political help when he stands for reelection a year and a half from now?
An obvious recent precedent is [...]

Republican Senate Majority on the Way?

One model says yes

, Guest Columnist

Here at the Crystal Ball we want to encourage the work of promising young political scientists. This week, we are featuring the work of Harry Enten, a student at Dartmouth College who has an interesting take on next year’s Senate elections. Perhaps Harry’s prediction is a bit too optimistic for the Republicans, but this far [...]

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.

1:12 [...]