Sabato's Crystal Ball

Archive for October, 2012

Projection: Republicans Will Hold the House

, House Editor

While there will be major shifts in the House delegations of many states on Election Day, and while more than a handful of incumbents appear likely to lose, the total change in each party’s net total of House seats will probably not be large. That means it’s good to be the Republicans, who already hold […]

President and Senate: Where We Stand Now

, U.Va. Center for Politics

There are a lot of fishy things going on in the presidential race. An incumbent president’s approval rating is historically a good indicator of how he will do on Election Day. By this measurement, President Obama should be in decent shape: according to the RealClearPolitics average from mid-day Wednesday, Obama’s approval rating was 49.8%; that […]

Unpacking the Final Debate

, U.Va. Center for Politics

The conventional wisdom before the debate season was that President Obama would have the edge in a foreign policy debate, and the conventional wisdom was right. The president, through superior knowledge and having — after four years — a record that is defensible in the field, won the third debate on foreign policy. Incumbent presidents […]

The Presidential Race: Where Does It Go From Here?

, U.Va. Center for Politics

If the presidential race seems like it’s hard to get a grip on, that’s because it is — the contest has gone through at least three distinct phases at this point, and where it might go over the final three weeks seems to be anyone’s guess. In the lead-up to the conventions, President Obama appeared […]

House Update: In Electoral College, Tie Goes to Romney

, House Editor

Partisan control of the individual states’ congressional delegations is a largely meaningless statistic — until, one of these days, it isn’t. In the event of a 269-269 tie in the Electoral College, the president of the United States would be selected by the U.S. House. In a rather archaic tradition, each of the 50 state […]

Ratings Changes: Obama’s Debate Disaster Moves the Needle

, U.Va. Center for Politics

Two months ago, we said that “barring a major blunder by either candidate,” the presidential debates were unlikely to be all that decisive. After one debate, it’s fair to say that while President Obama didn’t make an obvious verbal gaffe during his first debate with Mitt Romney, Obama’s entire, listless debate performance can be characterized […]

Expect Turnover — But Not a Wave — In State Legislative Races

, Guest Columnist

While the nation’s attention is fixated on the presidential and congressional races, it’s important to remember that the vast majority of states this year will also decide their state legislative contests. Walking us through the state legislative picture once again this cycle is Tim Storey, one of the nation’s top experts on state-level politics. Storey […]

Romney Wins Debate, but How Much Does It Matter?

It’s pretty obvious who turned in a stronger performance in the first presidential debate last night. And it certainly wasn’t the incumbent. This may have been Mitt Romney’s best debate ever, and it almost certainly was Barack Obama’s worst. The question is, will it matter and, if so, how much will it matter? Romney, who […]

When the Whole Map Was in Play

, Senior Columnist

Throughout this year’s presidential campaign, the competitive portion of the electoral map has been limited to about 12 or 13 states. There are the nine that flipped from Republican George W. Bush in 2004 to Democrat Barack Obama in 2008, plus four or so others — Michigan, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin come quickly to […]

Gubernatorial and House Ratings Update

, House Editor

While other gubernatorial races may get closer as Election Day nears, right now the top gubernatorial tilts in the country are in two small but politically active states: New Hampshire and Montana. After winning their respective primaries on Sept. 11, ex-state Sen. Maggie Hassan (D) and lawyer Ovide Lamontagne (R), who narrowly lost the GOP […]