Sabatos Crystal Ball

Archive for December, 2015


The evolution of the Electoral College from 1824-2012

, UVA Center for Politics

Simple maps can teach a lot. Presidential election maps show at a glance where the nation was at four-year intervals beginning in 1824, when popular voting (of a very restricted sort) became established. John Quincy Adams lost that vote but won the White House anyway in the House of Representatives. We didn’t have maps that […]

10 Factors That Will Determine the Next President

, Sabato's Crystal Ball

The Crystal Ball will be on an abbreviated holiday schedule the next two weeks. We will not be publishing next Thursday or the week after, but we will have a special edition of the Crystal Ball that will be published on Monday, Dec. 28. We’ll return to our regular publishing schedule on Thursday, Jan. 7, […]

Trump’s Biggest Obstacle

His actual level of support among likely Republican voters is too low

, Guest Columnist

Last week’s Crystal Ball repeated its refrain that Donald Trump is very unlikely to get the Republican presidential nomination. However, it issued the caveat that “[i]t would be easier to make our argument if we could explain precisely how and by whom the real estate tycoon will be dethroned.” Who can and will defeat Trump? […]


Watch the Rising Sons of the Sun Belt

, Director, UVA Center for Politics

The Donald Trump Show continues to dominate the airwaves and the polls, and the other candidates seem mere apprentices by comparison. The billionaire’s appeal is very disproportionately tilted to the blue-collar half of the Republican electorate — many are the old Reagan Democrats who have long since defected from the party of their fathers. Much […]

The down-ballot outlook as 2016 approaches

Full Senate, House, and gubernatorial updates and ratings changes

, Managing Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

The upcoming battle for the Senate depends to a large extent on the presidential race; Democrats should gain House seats but not truly threaten the GOP’s big lower chamber majority; and Republicans are positioned to add to their already-substantial majority of governorships. That’s the early line on next year’s down-ballot contests as we prepare to […]

Three’s Company

Who will join the Democrat and Republican on 2016’s presidential ballot?

, Sabato's Crystal Ball

Republican presidential polling leader Donald Trump signed a pledge earlier this year agreeing to support the eventual GOP nominee, but that agreement is certainly not legally enforceable. If Trump wants to run as a third-party or independent candidate, there’s nothing stopping him. Trump is aware of this: The weekend before Thanksgiving, he retreated to his […]

60 Days Until Iowa: Are the Polls Predicting the Winners?

, Guest Columnist

It’s now about two months, 60 days, until actual voting begins in that fascinating exercise in democracy, the Iowa caucuses. A few days later the good folks of New Hampshire follow with another great American tradition, their first-in-the-nation primary and its own unique brand of retail politics. As always, the results from these two states […]

House 2016: Finally, a New Map in Florida

Democrats positioned but not guaranteed to net an extra seat or more from the Sunshine State

, Managing Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

The long saga of Florida’s legal battle over redistricting now appears to be over. The state Supreme Court, in a 5-2 decision, approved a new map for the state’s 27-member U.S. House delegation. The remap is an improvement for Democrats over the current map drawn by the state’s Republican-controlled state legislature. While it appears that […]