Sabato's Crystal Ball

Archive for October, 2011

Herman Cain’s First Campaign

, Senior Columnist

In his recently published autobiography, This is Herman Cain! My Journey to the White House, the Republican presidential candidate details at length his “up by the bootstraps” life history, from his business successes and bout with cancer to the early stages of his 2012 presidential campaign. Barely mentioned was his hardly noticed try for the […]

History of Presidential Coattails Points to Republicans Keeping the House

, Guest Columnist

Since the upset victory of Republican Bob Turner (NY-9), pundits have argued over the meaning of the results. One of the more popular beliefs is that President Obama’s unpopularity played a large role in the election of a Republican in a Democratic district. Therefore, the reasoning goes, Obama will drag other Democrats to defeat in […]

Notes on the State of Politics

Ex-Gov. Lingle is underdog in Hawaii Senate race Strange doings are afoot in deep blue Hawaii, where the new Democratic governor, ex-Rep. Neil Abercrombie, is the most unpopular governor in the nation according to one pollster, and the old governor, Republican Linda Lingle, is now mounting a credible bid for the state’s open Senate seat. […]

Fortress Blue, Fortress Red

The partisan bedrock of the new House

, House Editor, U.Va. Center for Politics

Franklin Delano Roosevelt once said that “There is nothing I love as much as a good fight.” If so, he would’ve hated where the House is headed for the next decade, because by and large it likely won’t have all that many good fights. Instead of looking at the House through the competitive races, consider […]

Notes on the State of Politics

Fight night in Nevada Tuesday night’s Western Republican debate in Las Vegas was probably the most entertaining of the season, mostly because the top contenders — Mitt Romney, Rick Perry and Herman Cain — all took some major hits. Romney, who has been the clear winner of most of these debates, probably still won this […]

Primary Madness: The Eternal Campaign

, Director, U.Va. Center for Politics

Now that the Republican presidential primary calendar has been moved into January, the Crystal Ball this week is taking a special, in-depth look at why it happened, what it means for the campaign and how it can be prevented next time. With 13 months still to go before the end of another presidential cycle that […]

Primary Madness: A Calendar We Can Believe In

, Senior Columnist

At long last, the 2012 Republican presidential nominating calendar is coming into focus. But it is not all that GOP schedule makers wanted. Rather than a February start in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina, Florida’s recent decision to hold its primary Jan. 31 has moved all the other early-voting states forward a month. […]

Primary Madness: Deja Vu All Over Again

, Guest Columnist

It’s hard to look at the events surrounding the 2012 presidential primary over the last several weeks and not come to the conclusion that it is, in Yogi Berra’s words, deja vu all over again. Not only is it a further and incremental progression of the now-40-year trend that has seen the beginning of the […]

Herman Cain and the Non-Politician Politician

, Political Analyst, U.Va. Center for Politics

In the last election cycle, several “non-politician politicians” — candidates who have never held public office who ran for a major office — went from obscurity to high office. These non-politician politicians include Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), Gov. Rick Snyder (R-MI) and Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL), all 2010 winners. Bob Turner, the upset Republican winner […]

Obama 2012: Not Exactly the Truman Show

, Guest Columnist

Can President Obama overcome a weak economy and win in 2012 by campaigning against the Republican Congress? The historical evidence for this claim is weaker than his allies would like to admit. Obama’s strategy seems to be Harry Truman’s 1948 campaign against a “Do-Nothing” Republican Congress. Last week, for instance, David Goldstein of McClatchy Newspapers […]

Notes on the State of Politics

Tomblin survives in West Virginia Give West Virginia’s acting governor, Earl Ray Tomblin, some credit: He fought off a spirited effort from a stronger-than expected challenger and the powerful Republican Governors Association to win the right to remove “acting” from his title. Tomblin, a career Mountain State Democratic legislator, defeated Republican businessman Bill Maloney by […]