Sabatos Crystal Ball

Archive for August, 2013


McAuliffe leads race going into Labor Day

, U.Va. Center for Politics

As the calendar turns to September, the nation’s marquee race in 2013 is coming into focus: Terry McAuliffe (D) now has an edge over Ken Cuccinelli (R) in the Virginia gubernatorial race, and we’re changing our rating in the contest from toss-up to LEANS DEMOCRATIC. The decision is based on several factors, all of which […]

Rand Paul: Barry Goldwater 2.0?

The Arizona senator broke one consensus. Could the Kentucky senator break another?

, Political Analyst

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) was asked recently what he would do in the event of a 2016 presidential contest between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY). “It’s gonna be a tough choice,” he said with a laugh. McCain’s ambivalence about a potential Clinton-Paul choice is primarily because of foreign […]

The Race for the White House – a follow-up

, U.Va. Center for Politics

Programming note: The Crystal Ball is taking a pre-Labor Day break next week. Our next edition will be Thursday, Sept. 5. We hope everyone has a great holiday. — The Editors Thanks to the many readers who sent us e-mails or tweets about our ranking of the 2016 presidential contenders last week. We thought we […]

Enrollment opens for Professor Sabato’s free online course “The Kennedy Half Century”

Enrollment is now open for Prof. Larry J. Sabato’s free online course about President John F. Kennedy’s life, administration and legacy. The four-week, massive open online course (MOOC), “The Kennedy Half Century,” will begin on Oct. 21, with two hours of video instruction each week by Prof. Sabato. The course is available through Coursera, an […]

2016 President: Republican outsiders rising

Plus: Could anyone beat Clinton in a primary?

, U.Va. Center for Politics

Our most recent rating of Republican presidential contenders features a top tier of three notably different candidates: A Midwestern governor (Scott Walker) who is known best by the activists who will help decide the nomination; a leading national figure (Chris Christie) who has irked conservatives; and a firebrand senator (Rand Paul) with devoted supporters who […]

Obama and the Second-Term Blahs

, Political Analyst

As we enter the dog days of Congress’ August recess, Americans are displeased with Washington. For instance, a recent poll found that 82% of Americans don’t think Congress has earned its break. Americans’ unhappiness with their leaders spares no branch of government: President Obama has seen his disapproval rating eclipse his approval rating since early […]


, Political Analyst

Democrats catching breaks in North Carolina While we’re keeping the toss-up rating of the North Carolina Senate race, it’s reasonable to question the Republicans’ chances there against first-term Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC). The top announced candidate for the GOP is Thom Tillis (R), speaker of the state House of Representatives. National Republicans do not seem […]

Ratings changes — and non-changes

McConnell, Grimes and meaning of our ratings

, U.Va. Center for Politics

The Crystal Ball has a number of rating changes in Senate, House and gubernatorial races to announce, but perhaps our most notable rating is one we haven’t changed. A couple of recent Democratic polls show Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) narrowly edging out Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in their likely […]

Republicans Certain to Retain Control of Virginia House of Delegates

, Political Analyst

The Crystal Ball typically focuses on national or statewide politics, but given our base at the University of Virginia Center for Politics and our substantial readership in the Old Dominion, we decided to take a comprehensive look at the race for the state’s House of Delegates. All 100 seats are on the ballot this November. […]

The presidency’s political price

, U.Va. Center for Politics

Is politics a zero-sum game? Imagine, for a moment, if Sen. John McCain (R) had somehow won the presidency in 2008. How might the country be different? We would not have the Affordable Care Act. Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan would not be on the Supreme Court. And the stimulus passed at the outset of […]