Sabatos Crystal Ball

Archive for October, 2015


Rubio up, Bush down, and what separates Trump from Carson

, Sabato's Crystal Ball

The third Republican presidential debate, held in Colorado on Wednesday night, was an odd, disjointed affair. The moderators arguably engaged in too much confrontation with the candidates and had a hard time divvying up the speaking time. With 10 candidates on the stage, the problems of the first two debates — too many candidates, too […]

Governors 2015: For Republicans, a Kentucky-Fried, Cajun-seasoned mess

, Managing Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

In this year’s two most prominent gubernatorial races, the Republicans have taken what probably should have been victories and put them into doubt by selecting weak nominees. Whatever the results, the GOP better hope that these races are not harbingers for 2016. Because while deep-red Kentucky and Louisiana still might ultimately vote for flawed Republican […]

Vying for Virginia: The 2015 General Assembly Elections

All eyes are on the race for the Virginia Senate

, Associate Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

On Nov. 3, the Old Dominion holds elections for all 40 of its state Senate seats and all 100 House of Delegates seats. Control of the House of Delegates is a foregone conclusion (it will remain in the GOP’s hands), but the Virginia Senate contest is on a knife’s edge. With less than two weeks […]


Clinton, now more than ever

, Managing Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

The decision by Vice President Joe Biden to pass on the presidential race confirms what would have been true even if he had entered the contest: This is Hillary Clinton’s race to lose. Biden’s exit strengthens her position, because it has become clear that Biden was taking more support away from Clinton than from the […]

Democrats 2016: After months of struggles, Clinton helps herself at debate

Last year at this time, Democrats were in the final month of their losing battle to hold the U.S. Senate. But while licking their wounds after the election, they consoled themselves with a 2016 comeback vision. Democrats already had a candidate so credentialed she was likely to sweep to the nomination and be in a […]

What if Biden waits – and waits?

He could still serve as his party’s insurance policy

, Managing Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

The kickoff Democratic debate is in the books, and Vice President Joe Biden still has not announced whether he will run for president. Time seems to be running short: As we wrote last month, the filing deadlines for the first primaries are coming up soon. The first one for the Democrats is Nov. 6 in […]

House 2016: Is It Possible for Republicans to Kick Away Their Majority?

A three-part path to a highly unlikely GOP electoral meltdown

, Managing Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

Republicans working to maintain the party’s historically large House majority appear relatively confident about the aspects of the next campaign they can control: incumbent performance, recruitment of challengers, staffing, fundraising, etc. What concerns them are the aspects of the campaign they do not control. Which brings us to today’s action on Capitol Hill, where the […]

New Hampshire: Toss-Up Central

Competitive races abound in the Granite State

, Associate Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

Think New Hampshire isn’t getting enough political attention? You’re probably alone, but a long-awaited move by Gov. Maggie Hassan (D) will likely result, remarkably, in an even greater focus on the Granite State during the 2016 cycle. Hassan announced Monday that she will challenge incumbent Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R) in the state’s U.S. Senate contest […]

Kentucky Governor: With a Month to Go, Bevin Has Squandered His Edge

, Sabato's Crystal Ball

For months we’ve argued that Kentucky’s increasing lean toward the Republican Party and the state’s antipathy toward President Barack Obama gave businessman Matt Bevin, the Republican nominee, a generic edge in the open Kentucky gubernatorial race. While Bevin is not a strong candidate, we thought that ultimately those inherent advantages — advantages that have nothing […]

Louisiana Governor: Ganging Up on Vitter

, Sabato's Crystal Ball

In his classic biography of Earl Long, who was Huey’s brother and a three-time governor of Louisiana, A.J. Liebling described the state’s primary for gubernatorial nominations as “the grand gimmick of Louisiana politics.” Back then, when winning the Democratic primary was tantamount to election, all Democratic candidates would run together in the same primary. If […]

Arizona Senate: The Goldwater Comparison McCain Doesn’t Want

, Associate Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) will be seeking his sixth term in 2016, but first he has to win renomination. As things stand, state Sen. Kelli Ward (R) and McCain’s other primary opponents don’t greatly endanger the incumbent’s standing. But a couple members of the state’s U.S. House delegation, Reps. Matt Salmon (R, AZ-5) and David […]