Sabato's Crystal Ball

Archive for March, 2014

Putting Their Eggs in the Wrong Midterm Basket

Why Democrats’ increased reliance on young voters may lead them to struggle in midterm elections in the near future

, Associate Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

Barring significant changes in group voting habits, many commentators have argued that “The Coalition of the Ascendant” is positioned to give Democrats a notable edge in elections in the near future. There may be some truth to that supposition: The country is clearly getting more diverse, and nonwhite voters tend to vote strongly Democratic. A […]

The End of Amendments?

Why state legislative polarization makes constitutional amendments increasingly unlikely

, Guest Columnist

This year marks the centennial anniversary of the first class of popularly-elected U.S. Senators, as mandated by adoption of the 17th Amendment. A hundred years later, several current or former Republican members of Congress, including Todd Akin (MO), Paul Broun (GA), Pete Hoekstra (MI) and Jeff Flake (AZ), have indicated their support for returning the […]

2016 Republican Presidential Update: A New, Familiar Name at the Top

, U.Va. Center for Politics

In our first ranking of the very large and very unsettled 2016 Republican presidential field back in April of last year, we decided to not even include the name of one of the brightest stars in the GOP universe: Jeb Bush. We just didn’t think, at the time, that the former Florida governor and brother […]

The Vice Presidential Advantage

, Guest Columnist

There is a longstanding belief that the vice presidency is a poor launching pad for a presidential candidacy. The argument invariably notes that few sitting vice presidents have been elected president and points out the obstacles the second office places before those who mount presidential campaigns.  The distinguished historian Julian Zelizer of Princeton University has […]

It’s the Stupid Economy

A bad economy hurts Democrats in the midterms, but does a good one help them?

, Director, U.Va. Center for Politics

U.Va. Center for Politics Director Larry J. Sabato is contributing a regular column to Politico Magazine. This week, he examines whether or not an improved economic picture could potentially help Democrats stave off trouble in November 2014. — The Editors Last week’s special election in Florida’s 13th congressional district, where GOP Rep. David Jolly upset […]

Senate Update: Domino Effects

In what order should we expect upper chamber seats to flip?

, Managing Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

To demonstrate just how Republican this year’s Senate playing field is, consider this: Of the 36 Senate elections this year (33 regularly scheduled and three specials), the Crystal Ball sees 16 as at least potentially competitive at the moment. Of those races, 14 are currently held by Democrats, and just two are held by Republicans. […]

The Limited Meaning of Florida’s Special House Election

, U.Va Center for Politics

Rep.-elect David Jolly (R, FL-13) overcame money, some internal division among Republicans, and a name recognition and prestige deficit to defeat Alex Sink (D) in a much-watched special election in Florida’s Tampa-area 13th Congressional District Tuesday night. Republicans are of course gleeful about the results, and Democrats, despite immediately pledging to fight for the district […]

It’s Time to Increase the Size of the House

, Senior Columnist, Sabato's Crystal Ball

“Our founders put the first amendment first for a reason. It protects all Americans’ right to free speech, regardless of political affiliation or views.” This statement was made by former Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN) in 2007, but it expresses a commonly cited view among lawyers, judges, politicians and pundits. In fact, what we today know […]

How Congressional Representation Has Changed Over the Past 50 Years

, Associate Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

In January, the release of the Census Bureau’s 2013 population estimates prompted the Crystal Ball to examine what the post-2020 projections for reapportionment might mean for the future shape of the U.S. House. While it’s fun to look at future projections, it’s also interesting to take a peek into the past to see how representation […]

Portman for President?

, Director, U.Va. Center for Politics

U.Va. Center for Politics Director Larry J. Sabato is contributing a column every other week to Politico Magazine. This week, he delves into why Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) could be the kind of candidate Republicans need to win the White House in 2016. — The Editors We are already at the point in this prematurely […]