Sabato's Crystal Ball

Archive for April, 2012

Plan of Attack: Obama, Romney and the Electoral College

, U.Va. Center for Politics

The presidential election could very well come down to one state — which one? We offer our thoughts on the Electoral College, plus answer questions on House, Senate and gubernatorial races, in our latest Crystal Ball video: The London Olympics isn’t the only venue for world-class sport this year. Political gold is waiting to be […]

Partisan Gender Gap Not Just About Women

, Guest Columnist

It’s interesting to hear politicians, political analysts and journalists use the term “gender gap.” They do so with great frequency, and it is almost always explicitly, implicitly or contextually focused on women. It is true, of course, that women usually vote 8% to 12% more Democratic than do men. But, that misses three key points: […]

Veepwatch: Readers React

, Political Analyst, U.Va. Center for Politics

John Adams, the Founding Father who served as the nation’s first vice president, had this to say about the No. 2 job: “My country has in its wisdom contrived for me the most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived or his imagination conceived.” Nowadays, few people — well, few politicians anyway — […]

Parsing Post-Nomination Primary Performance

, Political Analyst, U.Va. Center for Politics

Now that Rick Santorum has suspended his campaign, Mitt Romney has essentially wrapped up the Republican presidential nomination. Although Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul remain in the GOP race, Santorum was Romney’s last major opponent, having won 11 states in the Midwest, the South and elsewhere. However, as shown in Chart 1, 19 states still […]

It Can’t Be Done

A Brief Modern History of What Can’t Happen Presidentially

, Director, U.Va. Center for Politics

1948: To err is Truman. He’s so unpopular compared to Thomas E. Dewey that Election Day is just a formality. 1952: Twenty years of New Deal presidents proves Democrats have a lock on the Electoral College. 1960: No Roman Catholic, much less an inexperienced 43-year-old, is going to win the White House. 1968: Richard M. […]

Veepwatch, Part 2: First, Do No Harm — Our Vp Contenders

As part 2 of our Veepwatch series, we’re unveiling our VP possibilities chart. See our video and also our full Veepwatch contenders list, both below. Who might Mitt Romney pick as his running mate? Did we miss anyone? If you think we did, pass along your suggested VP possibility along with a few short pluses […]

Are Independent Leaners Closet Partisans or True Independents?

, Senior Columnist

A recent report from Third Way, a centrist Democratic think tank, criticized my research and that of other political scientists who have concluded that independent leaners — voters who identify themselves as independents but indicate that they usually feel closer to one political party or the other — are really closet partisans. The Third Way […]

Veepwatch, Part 1: The Swing State Selection Myth

, Guest Columnist

With Mitt Romney pulling away in the Republican presidential race, we here at the Crystal Ball are ready to turn our attention to what will be one of the biggest political stories of the next few months: the Veepwatch. We’ll unveil our list of vice presidential possibilities next week, but first, we asked one of […]

Notes on the State of Politics

How Santorum can win by losing April 3 was a one-two punch in favor of Mitt Romney. Wisconsin was Rick Santorum’s last, best chance to slow Romney’s inevitability train. And the Tuesday engine pulling the Romney train, oddly enough, was driven by Barack Obama. In front of America’s newspaper editors, he all but declared his November […]

Romney and Reagan: Electoral Parallels

, Senior Columnist

Note: This article is cross-posted from Rhodes Cook’s political blog. Unlike some of his Republican rivals, Mitt Romney has spent little time this year comparing himself to Ronald Reagan. But when it comes to their pursuit of the Republican presidential nomination, similarities abound. Both lost their first full-throated bid for their party’s nomination – Reagan […]