Sabatos Crystal Ball

Archive for August, 2012

Romney, Ryan, Republicans and… Eastwood?

, U.Va. Center for Politics

“On the day before Major McKinley was nominated for the presidency, an artist distinguished for the fetching touch of his pencil in catching and fixing likenesses in a few lines, stood in the door of a room where the Major was seated, and never having before seen the famous face, was regarding it with personal […]

The conventions: A national curiosity

, U.Va. Center for Politics

(TAMPA, FL) — Before the 1970s, the political primary process was usually little more than a charade; party leaders met after the primaries were over to do the real work of picking a nominee. Or maybe not even the party leaders. After being rebuffed for the Republican presidential nomination one last time in 1952, Sen. […]

The Conventions: How Big a Bounce?

, U.Va. Center for Politics

The conventions are upon us, and the Crystal Ball team will be reporting live from Tampa and Charlotte. Follow @larrysabato, @kkondik and @geoffreyvs on Twitter for commentary on the party pep rallies, and look for the Crystal Ball on Friday, Aug. 31, and Friday, Sept. 7, for our thoughts on the conventions. That means, for […]

Rating changes: Two new toss-ups

, U.Va. Center for Politics

Wisconsin now a presidential toss-up Mitt Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan hasn’t appeared to have had much of a polling impact nationally — at least not yet — but it has seemed to move the needle in Ryan’s home state of Wisconsin. Four Wisconsin polls have come out since the Ryan selection, and they average […]

How the Ryan pick fits in with vice presidential history

, Guest Columnist

Veepstakes 2012 is over. Mitt Romney has chosen, and pundits will now search their crystal balls on other subjects, at least until sometime in 2015 or 2016 when vice-presidential speculation will begin anew, this time regarding Veepstakes 2016. But before putting this year’s version totally behind us, it’s worth thinking about what we’ve learned. Every […]

Ryan Redux: Reevaluating Romney’s Running Mate

, U.Va. Center for Politics

To see the Crystal Ball’s initial reaction to Mitt Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate and how Ryan compares to previous selections, click here. Earlier this year, former Bush political strategist Karl Rove issued a mea culpa about his opposition to then-Gov. George W. Bush’s selection of Dick Cheney as his running […]


, Political Analyst

For the second straight week, the Crystal Ball is moving a toss-up Senate race to the Republican column. Now that ex-Gov. Tommy Thompson has captured the Republican nomination in Wisconsin — winning with 34% of the vote in a crowded, four-way field — we are installing him as a slight favorite to capture the Senate […]

Mitt Hops on the Ryan Express

, U.Va. Center for Politics

Finally, the Veepstakes is over — and Paul Ryan is the winner. What does the Ryan pick mean for the fall campaign, and how does his selection compare to previous choices? We break it all down in this special weekend edition of the Crystal Ball, which includes the return of our video series (to see […]

Can President Obama Survive His Economic Record?

, Guest Columnist

The Crystal Ball is pleased this week to feature an essay from Prof. James E. Campbell, UB Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the University at Buffalo, SUNY. Prof. Campbell is one of the nation’s foremost experts in election modeling; he developed the trial-heat and economy presidential election forecasting model (with Ken Wink) in 1990 […]


, Political Analyst

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) got the opponent she wanted. But she still enters the general election season as an underdog. Now that the Missouri Senate primary is complete, we are downgrading the incumbent Democrat’s chances from toss-up to leans Republican. Tuesday night’s surprise Republican primary winner, Rep. Todd Akin, has the inside track to defeat […]

Tight national race freezes Electoral College map

, U.Va. Center for Politics

While no one enjoys dissecting the presidential swing states more than we do, we also recognize that swings in the states are oftentimes uniform — as in, changes in the national polls will trickle down to the states. And there just hasn’t been much movement in the national polls in months: for instance, on April […]

Do presidential campaigns matter? Evidence from the 2008 election

, Senior Columnist

With more than three months left until Election Day, the 2012 general election campaign is well under way. President Obama and his presumptive Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, have been actively campaigning in states that are expected to be battlegrounds in November. And Obama and Romney, along with their political allies, have also been busy raising […]