Sabatos Crystal Ball

Archive for October, 2013

The cost of Ted Cruz’s rebellion

An icy relationship with party elites could hurt in 2016

, Managing Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

“Sounds like we got trouble in River City… Good citizens, make your check payable to Cruz Against Soviet Healthcare. Or just ‘CASH’” — Republican operative and commentator Mike Murphy, Oct. 25 Those in the political world with nothing better to do Friday night were transfixed on C-SPAN or Twitter, following along with Sen. Ted Cruz’s […]

Five days to go in Virginia

, Associate Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

Late last Thursday afternoon — after the publication of last week’s Crystal Ball — we revised our ratings of the three statewide races in Virginia. Terry McAuliffe (D) is now a solid favorite to win the governorship over Ken Cuccinelli (R), and we now rate that race as Likely Democratic. Meanwhile, Ralph Northam (D) is […]

In Kennedy assassination, Dallas unfairly blamed

, Director, U.Va. Center for Politics

This essay first appeared in Sunday’s Dallas Morning News. Mere moments after Jack Ruby shot Lee Harvey Oswald, and two days after Oswald fired the shots that killed President John F. Kennedy, the professional football team from the city where the president was murdered took the field in Cleveland. Back then, the Dallas Cowboys were […]


, Sabato's Crystal Ball

Some history is being made in Virginia. The statehouse battle was supposed to be close. But as we look at Virginia’s gubernatorial contest in the stretch, just about everything is moving in a Democratic direction. The final debate Thursday night changed little, in our view — especially because it wasn’t even broadcast statewide. You might […]


Democratic prospects improve in House and Senate

, Sabato's Crystal Ball

We’ll save our Republican friends a recitation of all the damage they did to themselves during the recent battle over the government shutdown and the debt limit. Anyone who can read a poll knows what happened. The shutdown kerfuffle has led to a significant improvement in the national political climate for Democrats. The House generic […]

Excerpt: The Kennedy Half Century

Why the long-hoped-for Rosetta Stone of the Kennedy assassination is nothing of the sort

, Director, U.Va. Center for Politics

Earlier this week, University of Virginia Center for Politics Director Larry J. Sabato unveiled new information about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy as part of the release of his new book, The Kennedy Half Century. His findings, concerning a recording of the day’s events that some believe is proof of a conspiracy to […]


University of Virginia Center for Politics Director Larry J. Sabato will reveal a major new finding regarding the assassination of President John F. Kennedy at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 15, and Crystal Ball readers will be able to watch it LIVE online here. For iPhone and iPad users, the press conference will be available […]

It’s Early But the 2016 Presidential Primary Calendar is Taking Shape

, Guest Columnist

We’re happy to welcome Davidson College visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science Josh Putnam back to the Crystal Ball. Readers may remember Josh from the last election cycle, when his FrontloadingHQ blog became a must-read for anyone tracking the rules and calendar that governed the 2012 presidential nomination process. This week, Josh gives us an […]

Measuring Virginia Vote Share

On the surface, the 2009 and 2012 Virginia elections didn't vary much

, Associate Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

In 2009, now-Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) won the Virginia gubernatorial election in a 17-percentage point rout. Three years later, President Barack Obama (D) won Virginia by almost four percentage points en route to reelection. The obvious story centered around differences in turnout: In 2009, just 40.4% of registered voters turned out to vote, and that […]

The Politics of the Shutdown

If Republicans get the blame, moderates will pay the price

, Managing Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

The great electoral question that comes with this week’s shenanigans in Washington is whether Republicans will hurt themselves so badly that the government shutdown, and events to come, will cost them the House. In this piece we look back on the Democrats’ passage of the Affordable Care Act in early 2010. Voting “no” on Obamacare […]

The Republicans’ Built-In House Advantage

, Guest Columnist

Redistricting for the U.S. House of Representatives is not a unified process, as is the case for most national legislatures. Rather, it’s the result of the cumulative actions of the states that have more than one representative. Nevertheless, it is useful to look at the entire House to see how the decisions in the states […]