Sabato's Crystal Ball

Archive for January, 2016

Iowa: At Last

Who is favored to win, and what will the results tell us?

, Sabato's Crystal Ball

As the 2016 presidential race officially begins, both party contests are in a place that we, and many others, did not expect them to be. On the Democratic side, frontrunner Hillary Clinton faces a stern challenge from a stronger-than-expected foe, Bernie Sanders. And the Republicans could be on the verge of nominating Donald Trump. Still, […]

Further Down the Ballot: How the 2016 Presidential Primaries May Influence Congressional Primary Voting

, Guest Columnist

Amidst the onslaught of news stories about the 2016 presidential primaries, it is easy to forget that voters in many states will soon be casting primary ballots in races for a variety of other offices. We haven’t yet heard much about incumbents “getting primaried” this year, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. This year’s […]

The Modern History of the Republican Presidential Primary, 1976-2012

, Associate Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

This is the first of a two-part series describing the state-by-state history of modern presidential primary voting in each party. We’ll look at the Republicans this week and the Democrats next week in advance of the start of the 2016 nomination season on Feb. 1 in Iowa. — The Editors The presidential nomination process has […]

For the Republicans, It’s More Than Just Insiders Versus Outsiders

Making sense of 2016 by studying the GOP’s “Four Faces”

, Managing Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

Republicans who hope that Donald Trump or Ted Cruz will not be their party’s presidential nominee might find some relief from The Four Faces of the Republican Party: The Fight for the 2016 Presidential Nomination, an excellent new book by Henry Olsen and Dante Scala. But if Trump and Cruz end up being the last […]

18 Days to Iowa: Presidential Demolition Derby Revs Up

In the early states, there’s uncertainty on both sides

, Sabato's Crystal Ball

What is there to add about Donald Trump that has not already been said? The political world has moved from disbelieving that he would even follow through and become a candidate, to expecting him to wither on the vine as more conventional choices gained steam, to accepting his nomination as a distinct possibility, to speculating […]

Surprises Almost Certain in Iowa and New Hampshire

, Director, UVA Center for Politics

The voters of Iowa and New Hampshire jealously guard their first-in-the-nation franchise in the presidential nomination process, and they view themselves as the public’s screening committees for White House wannabes. You can call them spoiled and indulgent — they insist the candidates should visit them again and again, while singing the praises of questionable products […]

The Common Wisdom of New Year’s Day: Often Wrong for President

, Director, UVA Center for Politics

Jan. 1, 1960: If Democrats nominate the very young, Catholic John F. Kennedy, they will throw the election away. 1964: President Lyndon B. Johnson, a “Southern conservative,” could be opposed by a Northern liberal in the primaries. 1968: LBJ’s got a tough fight, but he’s the favorite for reelection. 1972: President Richard Nixon is losing […]

Five Factors That Will Define the Running Mates

Lessons from history on how the nominees will balance their tickets

, Guest Columnist

“Where do vice presidential candidates come from?” If this year is like other leap years, that’s the question some precocious political strategists and presidential candidates will ask this spring. History reveals certain patterns, but it also suggests that the past is an imperfect guide. Even in relatively normal election years, departures from prior practice occur. […]