Sabato's Crystal Ball

Archive for June, 2012

On Health Care, Supreme Court Upholds the Political Status Quo

, Political Analyst

The Supreme Court’s narrow decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act means that the country’s partisan battle over health care essentially remains unchanged. Conservatives hoped that the Supreme Court would throw them a lifeline by invalidating the law, which would have allowed the right to celebrate the end of Obamacare without having to take control […]

The House’s 15 Closest Contests

, House Editor

The conventional wisdom in the battle for control of the U.S. House of Representatives is that Democrats will pick up at least some seats, perhaps netting somewhere in the high single or low double digits, but won’t pick up enough seats to seriously threaten John Boehner’s speakership. Indeed, if we had to project the House […]

2012 Gubernatorial Update: Republicans Aim for Their High-Water Mark

, U.Va. Center for Politics

A record-tying year could be in store for Republicans in 2012. No, we’re not talking about Mitt Romney — even if he wins, Romney will not equal Richard Nixon’s 60.7% popular vote share in 1972 or Ronald Reagan’s 525 electoral votes in 1984. Rather, Republicans can tie a record in another category: the number of […]

Veepwatch 2.0: Boring? All the Better

, U.Va. Center for Politics

In Mitt Romney’s vice presidential search, flashy is out, and boring is in. Now that it appears that the presumptive Republican presidential nominee has a fair chance to defeat President Barack Obama — a development that seems to have genuinely surprised many Republicans, perhaps including some of those big names who declined to run themselves […]

Voter Turnout: Heading Downward in 2012?

, Senior Columnist

It is arguable that a whole new era in American politics was spawned by 9/11. Since then, compromise has become a dirty word to many and “compassionate conservatism” has gone the way of the Edsel. The two major parties are offering two competing, and vastly different, visions of America in a world that is both […]

Debunking Myths About Vice Presidential Selection

, Guest Columnist

Joel K. Goldstein has forgotten more about the vice presidency than the rest of us ever knew, and this week he examines and challenges many of the myths you’ll hear as Mitt Romney prepares to choose a running mate. Goldstein, the Vincent C. Immel Professor of Law at Saint Louis University School of Law, is […]

House Update: Democrats Stuck in Neutral

, House Editor

Democrat Ron Barber will replace his old boss, Gabrielle Giffords, in the House after winning a special election Tuesday night, 52% to 45%, over Republican Jesse Kelly. The race appeared to be neck-and-neck, and Kelly narrowly won more votes cast on Election Day. But Barber built his winning margin in early voting (about three quarters […]

Americans Elect to Stay With Two Options

, Senior Columnist

Note: This article originally appeared on Rhodes Cook’s political blog. About half of the presidential elections over the last half century have been impacted by a significant third party or independent candidate. This election is unlikely to be one of them. With last month’s closure of the ambitious Americans Elect effort to find a credible […]

Mapping the United States, Politically Speaking

Last week, Twitter user @chrishale7 asked NBC News political director Chuck Todd about making an electoral map showing the states by their population size, rather than just a straight geographic map, in order to better show the importance of the states in the Electoral College. Todd (@chucktodd) replied by suggesting that this was something we […]

Persuasion Versus Mobilization: Obama & Romney’s Swing State Strategy

, Senior Columnist

With five months to go until Election Day 2012, all indications are that the presidential race between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney is going to go down to the wire and that the outcome will ultimately be decided by voters in 10-15 battleground states in which neither candidate has a decisive advantage. These findings raise […]

Notes on the State of Politics: Recapping Wisconsin

Walker’s Wisconsin win not necessarily a harbinger As soon as the recall of Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) was finalized in mid-March, the Crystal Ball made Walker a favorite, giving the race a rating of leans Republican. We upgraded his chances roughly two weeks ago to likely Republican, and he ended up winning by a relatively […]