Sabatos Crystal Ball

Archive for February, 2015

House 2016: Patriots & One-Term Wonders on the Frontline

What we can learn from both parties’ lists of top races, plus other notes

, Managing Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

Over the past few weeks the two parties’ House campaign arms, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee, have begun to roll out their lists of vulnerable seats and of the opposing seats they are targeting. The primary purpose for these lists is, of course, fundraising. They are a flashing billboard […]

Religion in Politics: A Look at Data from the New American Values Atlas

, Sabato's Crystal Ball

On Wednesday, the Public Religion Research Institute released its new American Values Atlas. It is full of information regarding the American public’s religious identity, political views on hot-button issues such as abortion and immigration, and demographic information for regions, states, and major metropolitan areas. This atlas should prove to be a highly useful resource, especially […]

Why Outside Spending is Overrated

Lessons from the 2014 Senate Elections

, Senior Columnist, Sabato's Crystal Ball

The Koch brothers and their network of wealthy conservative donors recently announced that they intend to spend almost $900 million on the 2016 elections. This level of spending by a group operating independently of any candidate or political party would be unprecedented in American politics. In fact, it would exceed the combined spending by the […]

Oregon Governor: Democrats Retain an Edge as Race Comes onto the Board

, Associate Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

Just like that, there are now 12 gubernatorial races on the docket for 2016 instead of the original 11: Oregon’s now ex-Gov. John Kitzhaber (D) announced on Friday that he would resign the governorship effective Wednesday, Feb. 18. Because the Beaver State has no lieutenant governor position, the next in line is the state’s secretary […]

California Senate: Fears of a Democratic “Nightmare” Recede

But much intrigue remains

, Managing Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

In the wake of Sen. Barbara Boxer’s (D-CA) retirement announcement last month, National Journal’s Scott Bland gamed out the Democratic “nightmare scenario” in which they could somehow lose the seat despite their statewide dominance. That’s because of California’s top-two primary system, where all candidates regardless of party run together in a June primary and the […]

The Surge: Our Book on 2014 & 2016 Is Available for Pre-Order

The Surge, the University of Virginia Center for Politics’ postmortem of the 2014 midterms and preview of the 2016 presidential election, is now available for pre–order. Edited by Center for Politics Director Larry J. Sabato and Sabato’s Crystal Ball editors Kyle Kondik and Geoffrey Skelley and published by Rowman and Littlefield, The Surge: 2014’s Big […]

The Era of Competition: How 2016 Could Set a Presidential Record

, Associate Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

The United States is in the midst of an era of great competitiveness in presidential contests. Not once in the last seven presidential elections has a party won more than 55% or less than 45% of the two-party vote. In a recent article for Politico Magazine, the Crystal Ball team argued that fundamentals, recent history, […]

Checking in on 2015’s Gubernatorial Races

, Managing Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

Barring a surprise special election, the only statewide contests of note this year will take place in three small southern states that have voted comfortably for Republican presidential candidates in at least the last four elections: Kentucky, Louisiana, and Mississippi. While these states are reliably Republican now at the presidential level — Mississippi hasn’t voted […]

A Major Reshuffling of the Republican Presidential Deck

, Managing Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

For nearly two years we’ve been ranking the GOP presidential contenders, and we’ve only had two names in the No. 1 spot. Now, in our latest update, those two are together, and alone, at the top. The new first tier is Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida, and Scott Walker, the governor of Wisconsin. […]


, Sabato's Crystal Ball

U.Va. Center for Politics Director Larry J. Sabato is contributing a regular column to Politico Magazine. This week, he and the rest of the Crystal Ball team provide a very early outlook for the 2016 presidential election. — The Editors The 2016 presidential election is going to resemble Thomas Hobbes’ famous description of the natural […]