Sabato's Crystal Ball

Archive for October, 2014

Bet on a Republican Senate Majority

, Sabato's Crystal Ball

Join the Crystal Ball team Monday night at the University of Virginia for a free presentation on the 2014 midterms. Visit the U.Va. Center for Politics website for more information and to register to attend. A version of this article originally appeared in Politico Magazine Wednesday evening. While many races remain close, it’s just getting […]

As Election Day Closes in, Tight Gubernatorial Races Abound

Bevy of new ratings but still many razor-thin contests

, Associate Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

Can we be brutally frank? The governors’ races are really tough to call this year. As of Wednesday afternoon, 11 contests had margins of three points or less in either HuffPost Pollster or RealClearPolitics’ polling averages (nine were inside that mark in both). Of those 11 races, 10 feature incumbents seeking reelection. We’ve mentioned before […]

House 2014: Calling the Toss-Ups, Take 1

, Managing Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

Republicans and Democrats on both sides of the House campaign are fretting. The elephants worry that they have not clearly put away any single Democratic House incumbent — which is true — and that they are going to underperform, not just by a seat or two, the goal of winning 245 seats set by National […]

Senate Forecast: Cloudy With a Good Chance of a Republican Majority

, Sabato's Crystal Ball

With less than two weeks to go until Election Day, the picture in several key races remains hazy. But when the dust settles, the most likely result is a Republican majority, as the Crystal Ball’s outlook of Republicans adding five to eight seats has long indicated. The GOP needs at least a net gain of […]

Sizing Up the Statehouses

, Sabato's Crystal Ball

Nov. 4 is rapidly approaching but a large number of gubernatorial contests remain up in the air. In fact, despite having some ratings changes this week, the Crystal Ball still has seven Toss-up races on the board, and most appear to be headed right down to the wire. The two new ratings this week are […]

Strange Cross-Currents in the Race for the House

, Managing Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

There are two vastly different lead paragraphs I could have used to open this story about the state of the race for the U.S. House. Instead of picking one, I’ll just include them both, and then try to explain the odd cross-currents we’re seeing in House races across the country. Lead No. 1: With 12 […]

2014: A Tale of Two Elections

New 2014 Senate and House ratings

, Sabato's Crystal Ball

As we approach the home stretch, 2014 has turned into a tale of two elections. On the one hand, this is a classic sixth-year itch election where the incumbent president’s party is going to suffer losses in both houses of Congress. We’re just arguing about exactly how many. Overall, it is indisputable that Republicans will […]

What to Expect From Senate Polls in the Final Days

An analysis of polling from last three weeks of recent elections

, Senior Columnist, Sabato's Crystal Ball

A few weeks ago, FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver released a dataset of over 6,000 polls, all conducted within 21 days of the election. This trove of data dates back to 1998, and covers all manner of races: Senate, House, gubernatorial, and presidential. This allows us to build some expectations for what we might expect in the […]

The Kennedy Half Century Now Available in Paperback

MOOC also returns with new lessons

Available now: The Kennedy Half Century in paperback, featuring new interviews, scientific studies, and empirical data. Among the new material contained in the paperback edition: A well-placed CIA employee reveals what really happened inside agency headquarters on Nov. 22, 1963. New analysis that further demonstrates the unreliability of the police Dictabelt audio evidence from Nov. […]

The State of the Governors

For many, it’s surprisingly poor

, Director, U.Va. Center for Politics

Governors frequently report on the state of their states, but what’s the state of the governors? To judge by many of the ongoing gubernatorial campaigns, it’s not great. Out of 36 contests, one governor (Neil Abercrombie, Democrat of Hawaii) has already lost his primary, another is headed for almost-certain defeat next month (Tom Corbett, Republican […]

Senate 2014: Roberts Slips in Kansas — And What’s Up in South Dakota?

Plus a slight upgrade for GOP House prospects

, Managing Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

Come January, Americans may witness something that, up to now, only 6% of the country’s population has ever seen: a senator from Kansas who is not a member of the Republican Party. That’s just one reason why the Sunflower State’s Senate race is the most interesting in the country with a month to go. Kansas […]

Skewed

Why Americans hate the polls.

, 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 polling averages, finding that while they are a very useful source of information, they occasionally misfire. — The Editors “Do you ever get the feeling that the only reason we have elections is to find […]

“Bombs Away” Tackles Lbj, Goldwater and 1964 Election

Ushered in age of negative campaign ads, highlighted by “Daisy” spot

Marking the 50th anniversary of the groundbreaking 1964 presidential campaign, the University of Virginia Center for Politics and Community Idea Stations have released the first trailer for their latest documentary, Bombs Away: LBJ, Goldwater and the 1964 Campaign that Changed It All. Scheduled for nationwide and international release later this fall, the one-hour documentary looks […]

Republican Chances of Senate Takeover Are Improving

But Kansas race complicates matters

, Sabato's Crystal Ball

The race for the Senate is perceptively moving in the Republicans’ direction, but not so dramatically that we’re ready to call the race definitively for them. While we’ve long said the 2014 map and midterm dynamics make a GOP takeover of the Senate a probable outcome, there are just too many close races left and […]

Notes on the State of Politics

Gubernatorial and House changes, plus the early read on early voting

, Sabato's Crystal Ball

Gubernatorial changes: Déjà vu for Coakley? We’ve got four gubernatorial ratings changes to make this week. The big one is in Massachusetts, where state Attorney General Martha Coakley (D) can no longer be called a favorite over Charlie Baker (R), also his party’s 2010 nominee. The most recent polls have generally shown a dead heat, […]