Sabatos Crystal Ball

Archive for January, 2013

Holding on to a House Majority

, Senior Columnist

It has been about two decades now that the two major parties switched roles in Washington. For much of the last half of the 20th century, Republicans dominated the White House while Democrats enjoyed a virtual monopoly on both chambers of Congress. But since 1994, their basic spheres of influence have changed. It is the […]


, Senior Columnist

Republicans are struggling to right their ship after the defeat of 2012. The unfavorable demographic trends for the GOP that we describe in our new book, Barack Obama and the New America, have sunk in, and the party knows it must do something. We have solicited ideas ourselves, believing that it is vital for America […]


In last week’s Crystal Ball, we discussed the recent electoral troubles of the Republican Party and what it might take to improve the GOP’s chances in the future. We also asked our readers for their thoughts, and plenty took the opportunity to give us their input, ranging from mostly serious suggestions to a couple humorous […]


, Director, U.Va. Center for Politics

With the constitutionally-mandated presidential oath-taking falling on a Sunday this year, the country will follow tradition and have a private ceremony at the White House on Sunday, followed by the usual public spectacular on Monday at the Capitol. Even with a double-dose of oath-taking, few sense much excitement. It has always been thus for second […]

What would a Republican renaissance look like?

, Director, U.Va. Center for Politics

As you read this, the U.S. House Republicans are meeting in retreat at Williamsburg, VA. While some would argue this is a good choice of locale to get back to the Republic’s colonial roots and fundamental principles, others will say it augurs poorly for the GOP’s need to embrace the future with new ideas and […]

Rockefeller retirement guarantees Republicans nothing

, Political Analyst

Sen. Jay Rockefeller’s (D-WV) decision to retire is a positive development for Republicans. But whether they can capitalize on it, and their other opportunities, is an open question. There are 35 Senate elections coming up in November 2014 — 33 regularly scheduled and two specials (Hawaii and a second seat in South Carolina). Democrats currently […]

Democrats Dread 2014 Drop-Off

, Guest Columnist

At first blush, Saxby Chambliss and the Michigan right-to-work episode seem completely unrelated. Most Republicans approve of both, of course, but there is a deeper connection. The Georgia senator and Michigan’s effort to restrict organized labor’s power are both byproducts of a phenomenon that, despite the electoral problems currently facing Republicans, continues to favor the […]


With 38 gubernatorial contests and 35 Senate races to be decided during the next two years (and with perhaps more to come), there are a ton of names that get bandied about as possible candidates, particularly when there’s more than a year until the possibilities are winnowed down in primaries. The churn of potential candidates […]

Post-election book to be released Tuesday

The University of Virginia Center for Politics is pleased to announce that our post-election book, Barack Obama and the New America: The 2012 Election and the Changing Face of Politics, will be released next Tuesday, Jan. 15. To order the book — which is published by Rowman and Littlefield — click here. Center for Politics […]