Sabato's Crystal Ball

Archive for March, 2013

Pondering Pennsylvania’s Proportional Plan

, Political Analyst

UPDATE: The Crystal Ball‘s Geoffrey Skelley spoke with Paul Brandus of West Wing Report about this article. To hear the audio, click here. Perhaps Pennsylvania Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R) should be nicknamed the “The Electoral College Count von Count” for his different ways of trying to count electoral votes. Much like the Sesame […]

Senate 2014: Blowouts as Bellwethers?

Just winning South Dakota and West Virginia probably won’t be enough for Republicans

, Political Analyst

Consider these assessments of two 2012 Senate races, from Roll Call’s election preview published about a month before Election Day last year: Nebraska: “The Senate race, once expected to be one of the top races of the cycle, has slipped away from Democrats ever since state Sen. Deb Fischer surprised many — even some of […]

Multi-Member Districts: Just a Thing of the Past?

, Guest Columnist

Given that at least a third of Americans identify strongly with neither major party, it seems anomalous that the two major parties boast all but two of the 535 members of Congress, 49 of 50 state governors, 99% of the nearly 7,400 state legislators nationwide and every American president for more than a century-and-a-half. Many […]

“No Mas,” No Problem?

The potential silver linings of Democratic Senate retirements

, Political Analyst

Dick Durbin (D-IL) is that rarest of Democrats these days — a senator who apparently contemplates but passes on retirement. While the Senate majority whip, who will turn 70 a couple weeks after Election Day 2014, is gearing up to run for a fourth term, four other Democrats have announced their retirements — Sens. Tom […]

Three’s a Crowd: Bolling Passes on Virginia Gubernatorial Run

, U.Va. Center for Politics

There’s apparently nothing like a Bahamas vacation to remind someone that there’s more to life than politics. After flirting with an independent bid for governor — and getting away to the Caribbean for a few days to clear his head — Virginia Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling (R) announced that he will not run, leaving the […]

Why Section 5 Is Still Needed: Racial Polarization and the Voting Rights Act in the 21st Century

, Senior Columnist

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the latest challenge to what many consider the most important civil rights law of the past century — the 1965 Voting Rights Act. The challenge involves Section 5 of the law, which requires nine states — all but two in the South — to obtain […]