Sabato's Crystal Ball

Archive for July, 2011

Obama’s Hurting, but Which Republican Can Capitalize?

, Political Analyst, U.Va. Center for Politics

American voters just tuning into the debt ceiling crisis might be asking, “What is this mess all about?” An answer one won’t hear from either party, which both castigate “Washington” despite running it, is that the nation’s potential failure to pay its bills is due in no small part to the choices that voters make. […]

The House’s Endangered Species

, Political Analyst, U.Va. Center for Politics

As recently as the mid-20th century, white southern men from the Democratic Party dominated the Congress. There was Sam Rayburn and Lyndon Johnson of Texas, who, respectively, ruled the House as speaker and the Senate as majority leader for much of the 1950s. And there were numerous Southern committee chairmen, including Howard W. Smith of […]

Fundraising: Much Ado Over Not All That Much

, Political Analyst, U.Va. Center for Politics

Former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer is expected to officially launch his presidential campaign today. His announcement again tests the famous philosophical question: If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? Roemer, who the Crystal Ball has ranked dead last among 12 potential presidential […]

Updating the Governors Races

, U.Va. Center for Politics

Although the calendar for gubernatorial elections in the 2011-2012 cycle is relatively light since most of the action in statehouse races occurred last year, several notable contests are developing for this November and next. States such as Indiana, Missouri and North Carolina, which happen to have been the three closest states in the 2008 presidential […]

Channeling Truman? The Race for the House

, Political Analyst, U.Va. Center for Politics

In November 1946, a tall, mustachioed figure stood alone on a railroad platform at Washington’s Union Station, waiting for the president of the United States to make his ignominious return to the capital. In victorious times, the platform would have been full of welcomers; as it was then, at the time of their party’s defeat, […]

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. […]

What’s the Magic Number?

Predicting 2012 With Economic Data

, Director, U.Va. Center for Politics

A recent New York Times story ricocheted around the political community after opening with this revelatory sentence: “No American president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt has won a second term in office when the unemployment rate on Election Day topped 7.2 percent.” There is the magic number! If unemployment is higher than 7.2% as we head […]

Setting the Record Straight: Correcting Myths About Independent Voters

, Senior Columnist

There they go again. The presidential campaign season is barely under way but already pundits and pollsters are making misleading claims about independent voters and the role they play in presidential elections. Here are some of the things you’ve probably read or heard in recent weeks: Independents make up the largest segment of the American […]

A Fresh Look at the Presidential Race

With the Republican primary field in a state of constant flux, we will be frequently updating our rankings of the GOP contenders. The new chart is available here. Mitt Romney retains his hold on the top spot in our rankings, but Michele Bachmann has skyrocketed up the rankings into our first tier, right behind Romney. […]