Sabato's Crystal Ball

Archive for May, 2014

Barack Obama and Bill Clinton: Complementary Strengths

, Senior Columnist, Sabato's Crystal Ball

The Democrats can use all the assets they can find as they approach a midterm election that grows increasingly challenging. The polls are daunting. The electoral map for both the Senate and House is unfavorable. And history is rarely kind to the president’s party in midterm voting. But the Democrats have two significant assets in […]

Senate Class Population Imbalance

How did the three Senate classes end up this way?

, Associate Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

The Crystal Ball’s Kyle Kondik recently published a piece in Politico Magazine on 10 maps that explain the 2014 election. We recently highlighted one of those maps, which focused on the rather unrepresentative nature of the Senate Class 2 map that is up this November. Its 33 states contain slightly more than half (51.8%) of […]

The Politics of White House Firings

Would giving Shinseki the axe be good for Obama's poll numbers?

, Director, U.Va. Center for Politics

U.Va. Center for Politics Director Larry J. Sabato is contributing a regular column to Politico Magazine. In light of the recent scandal with the Veterans Affairs health system, this week he looks back at presidential firings to see if they actually proved beneficial to a president’s job approval rating. In the piece, we listed 35 […]

Nationalization of Senate Elections Poses Challenge to Democrats in 2014

, Senior Columnist, Sabato's Crystal Ball

Democrats face several challenges in trying to maintain their majority in the U.S. Senate in the 2014 midterm election. In addition to the normal tendency of the president’s party to lose seats in midterm elections, Democrats are defending 21 of the 36 seats that are up this year including seven seats in states that were […]

Notes on the State of Politics: Primary Edition

, Managing Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

National Republicans get their men (and women) The key takeaway from Tuesday night’s primaries, and the primary season in general so far, is that national Republican leaders are getting the general election nominees they want in key races. What they do with those nominees in the fall remains to be seen. In Tuesday’s marquee event, […]

Notes on the State of Politics

, Managing Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

Arkansas now a Toss-up It’s become clear over the past few months that Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR), despite the increasing Republican lean of his state, has been holding his own, or better, against Rep. Tom Cotton (R, AR-4). Several positive polls for the incumbent, including a too-optimistic 11-point lead from NBC/Marist earlier this week, moved […]

Are Republicans Really Doomed Demographically?

, Senior Columnist, Sabato's Crystal Ball

Much of the debate about elections today revolves around the “Emerging Democratic Majority” thesis, taken from the 2002 book of the same name. The thesis is pretty straightforward: Because of demographic changes, the GOP is on a path toward irrelevance unless it can remake itself and appeal to the rising electorate. The theory has congealed […]

How Big a Wave?

The big question for 2014: Will we see a GOP ripple...or a tsunami?

, 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 takes a look at the many Senate scenarios in 2014 and the most vulnerable Democratic seats. — The Editors Last week, Republican primary voters passed their first Senate test, producing a North Carolina nominee, Thom Tillis, […]

The Surprisingly Unrepresentative 2014 Senate Map

, Managing Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

Crystal Ball Managing Editor Kyle Kondik recently wrote a piece for Politico Magazine about 10 maps that explain the 2014 election. We wanted to highlight one of the maps, which shows how this year’s Senate contests are being contested on very Republican turf — and that a very small number of voters in some fairly […]

Primary Roundup: North Carolina Republicans Vote for Electability

, Managing Editor, U.Va. Center for Politics

Backed by an onslaught of advertising from outside establishment Republican groups and assisted by the lack of a top-tier opponent, North Carolina state House Speaker Thom Tillis (R) won his party’s Senate nomination on Tuesday night, capturing about 46% of the vote. He needed 40% to avoid a runoff against the second-place finisher, Tea Party […]

The Minimal Class Divide in American Politics

Why Growing Economic Inequality Does Not Explain Partisan Polarization

, Senior Columnist, Sabato's Crystal Ball

How deep is the class divide in American politics today? According to some scholars and pundits, it is very deep indeed. In a recent post on the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog, Larry Bartels of Vanderbilt University, the author of Unequal Democracy and a highly regarded public opinion scholar, presented evidence from a multi-nation public […]

Notes on the State of Politics

Primary season begins in earnest and Grimm tidings in the House

April quiet brings May excitement After two states, Texas and Illinois, held the first primary contests of the 2014 election calendar in March, April featured exactly zero. But a month and a half of inactivity will give way to a busy May primary season with 11 scheduled elections, as seen below in Table 1. Table […]

Help! I’m Drowning in Tv Ads!

It’s only April and the flood has begun

, 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 takes a look at the first batch of campaign ads this cycle. — The Editors Remember when someone could publish a book about TV commercials entitled The Best Thing on TV? It wouldn’t sell today in any […]