Sabato's Crystal Ball

Archive for March, 2012

The Early Outlook for the 2012 Congressional Elections: A Forecasting Perspective

, Senior Columnist

In today’s Crystal Ball, Alan Abramowitz — whose election models are among the best in the business — provides an early look at what they tell us about the race for the House and the Senate. We suspect that these models are a little pessimistic for Democrats at this early point, although we agree with […]

Democrats’ House Hopes Could Run Aground in Great Lakes

, House Editor, U.Va. Center for Politics

During the War of 1812, Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry whipped the British in the famous Battle of Lake Erie. Nearly 200 years later, winning Lake Erie won’t suffice for Democrats seeking to reclaim the House; they need to win on the shores of all five Great Lakes. Now that decennial redistricting is nearly over, we […]

Romney’s Illinois Win Confirms the Obvious

, U.Va. Center for Politics

Mitt Romney’s big win in the Illinois primary is not a game-changer, mainly because the likely outcome of the game — the race for the Republican presidential nomination — is the same today as it was Tuesday morning: Romney is the highly probable nominee. Romney can’t ignore the remaining contests, and he has to perform […]

Tilting the Toss Ups – the Eight Races That Will Decide the Senate

, U.Va. Center for Politics

Ah, the Senate. The battle for control fascinates us — and all election observers — because there are so many intriguing races and personalities. Yet, as we update our ratings today and move in a new direction on Congress’ upper chamber, it is worth stressing at the outset that no party will truly control the […]

From Different Angles: Romney and the Primary Vote

, Senior Columnist

Note: This article is cross-posted from Rhodes Cook’s political blog. One of Mitt Romney’s basic arguments these days is that he is well ahead of his Republican presidential rivals in both the number of delegates and popular votes won. That is true. But if he goes on to win his party’s nomination, it is likely […]

Romney Set to Dominate Race Through April

, U.Va. Center for Politics

Three of the four candidates for the Republican presidential nomination — Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul — might soon agree with T.S. Eliot: for them, April may indeed be “the cruelest month.” That’s because their front-running rival, Mitt Romney, appears poised to further pad his lead in delegates in upcoming Republican nomination contests, […]

Notes on the State of Politics

So much for that anti-incumbent wave Last week’s primary loss by Rep. Jean Schmidt, a southwest Ohio Republican, ginned up curiosity in Tuesday night’s congressional primaries in Alabama and Mississippi, where several House incumbents were supposedly in danger of losing their primaries. That list included powerful House Financial Services Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus (R) of […]

Video: The Key Races to Come in the Republican Primary

Mitt Romney won the majority of states on Super Tuesday, but he was unable to knock out his rivals. This race may go all the way to June, and in the latest installment of our Crystal Ball video series, we point out the six days worth watching between now and the end of the Republican […]

First to the Dance Wins: Lengthy Nominating Campaigns and Electability

, Senior Columnist

Over the last half century of presidential primaries, there has been an almost inviolable rule of thumb: The candidate that wraps up his party’s nomination first goes on to win the general election. There is a certain logic to that. Candidates that can eliminate their primary rivals most quickly have more time to unify their […]

Super Tuesday Recap: No End in Sight for the Republican Contest

, U.Va. Center for Politics

For Buckeye State political watchers on Super Tuesday, there was a general election feel on a Republican primary election night. The candidate winning in most of the Democratic counties — in this case, Mitt Romney — got off to an early lead. Then the rural Republican counties came in, switching the vote back to the […]

Romney’s Problems on “Main Street”

, Senior Columnist

Note: This article is cross-posted from Rhodes Cook’s political blog. In Republican voting so far this year, it has been evident that Mitt Romney can draw votes in metropolitan areas with their large numbers of well-off, well educated voters. But the Republican front-runner has struggled mightily in many states to win votes in rural areas […]

Santorum’s Super Headache: Why His Best Super Tuesday Outcome Might Be Stalemate

, U.Va. Center for Politics

What’s the outlook for Super Tuesday? A mixed bag of possibilities for GOP presidential candidates Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, and Ron Paul. Will Romney make a play in the South? Can Paul win a caucus? And what will happen in Ohio, the most crucial contest on March 6? Get our take — and […]

Snowepocalypse Greatly Harms Republican Chances of Senate Takeover

And just when we thought we weren’t going to have any big Snowe storms this year, the decision by… Eh, enough with the Snowe puns. Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) shockingly announced her retirement on Tuesday night, which greatly frustrates Republican efforts to win back the Senate. This was a race that Snowe almost certainly would […]