Sabato's Crystal Ball

Archive for July, 2014

What’s the Matter With Kansas — And Hawaii?

Strange things afoot in 2014’s gubernatorial races

, Sabato's Crystal Ball

Royal Blue Hawaii and Ruby Red Kansas are two of the most predictable states in presidential and Senate elections. Yet both states have incumbent governors from the dominant parties who are fighting for their political lives. What gives? The 2014 gubernatorial map features a number of fascinating races, some of which — like Hawaii and […]

The Senate Race That Couldn’t Be Lost — and Was

A lesson in political humility

, 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 goes into the history hutch to look back at the 1964 U.S. Senate race in California, which had an unexpected outcome. — The Editors If there is one nightmare common to all U.S. senators, it’s the […]

Senate: 2014 a Year All Its Own

Republicans’ takeover odds remain decent, but this isn’t 2006 or 2010

, Sabato's Crystal Ball

Analysts always strain to generalize about elections. We want to “model” them, find the common elements, and project them as early as possible based on the commonalities. That’s a legitimate approach, but we need always remember that every election is different. Every single one. It isn’t just the candidates that change up, or the specific […]

Politico, Crystal Ball Announce New Partnership

The University of Virginia Center for Politics and Politico are pleased to announce an exclusive media partnership to offer readers interactive ratings from Sabato’s Crystal Ball on Senate, House, and gubernatorial races. The new feature on Politico’s website shows which way the Center believes a race is leaning each week as well as the logic […]

The Hidden Barrier to a Republican Senate Majority

The GOP has had little recent success defeating Democratic incumbents

, Managing Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

If Republicans are to win the Senate, they probably are going to have to do something they haven’t done since 1980: beat more than two Democratic Senate incumbents in November. In that Reagan Revolution election — one of the best for the Republican Party in its entire history — the GOP flipped 12 seats held […]

Notes on the State of Politics

Reaction to third-party piece In an article on the topic last week, we asked readers to chime in with other races where they thought third-party and independent candidates might have an impact on some statewide races. We got a lot of e-mails and tweets about the gubernatorial and Senate contests in Georgia, but multiple readers […]

Do Republicans Need a Frankencandidate?

, 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 explores the tough choices the eventual Republican nominee may have to make in order to increase the GOP’s chances in 2016. — The Editors Did you ever see the documentary A Perfect Candidate? It was about […]

Americans Are Politically Divided and Our Feelings Toward the Parties Show It

, Senior Columnist, Sabato's Crystal Ball

How politically divided are ordinary Americans? The recent release of a report on polarization in public opinion by the Pew Research Center has reignited a debate among journalists and academics about the depth of the divisions between supporters of the two major parties. One of the key findings of the report is that supporters of […]

An Above-Average Year for Incumbents?

A handful of House members -- and a senator -- will have to lose in the remaining primaries just to match postwar averages

, Managing Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

With the primary season more than half over, it’s fair to say that incumbents have done just fine this cycle so far: better than fine, in fact. So far this cycle, 273 of 275 House incumbents who wanted another term have been renominated, and 18 of 18 Senate incumbents. That includes results from the 31 […]

2014 Races Where Third-Party and Independent Candidates Could Impact Outcomes

, Associate Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

While it’s very hard for third-party and independent candidates to win statewide elections outright, they can have some impact on the outcome. This may be true again in some 2014 contests for U.S. Senate and governor. Some outsider candidates will get a fair amount of press, such as ex-Sen. Larry Pressler’s independent Senate bid in […]