Sabato's Crystal Ball

Archive for March, 2016

The Electoral College: The Only Thing That Matters

It’s a long way to November, but for the moment the GOP is an underdog

We live in a post-factual era. Thanks to the Internet and social media, which mix informed and uninformed views in equal measure, the old rule — that people are entitled to their own opinions but not their own set of facts — no longer applies. Somewhere in cyberspace, you can now find blogs and treatises […]

The Presidential Primary Season: Watching Wisconsin

Plus, why Sanders’ big weekend doesn’t change the Democratic calculus

, Sabato's Crystal Ball

The battle between Donald Trump and his opponents within the GOP has moved to Wisconsin, and the stakes couldn’t be much higher: Based on our gaming out of delegate math last week, Trump may need a statewide win in the Badger State to stay on course for potentially winning a delegate majority. Should anti-Trump forces […]

Assessing Trump’s Path to 1,237

A look at the remaining contests shows how he could get there

, Sabato's Crystal Ball

About a month ago, after Donald Trump won the South Carolina primary and all of its delegates, we headlined a piece “The Hour is Growing Late to Stop Trump.” Well, the hour has grown later, and we have to ask the question: Has Trump been stopped? Certainly not. And a look ahead at the remaining […]

So, Do You Actually Want to Be Vice President?

The factors potential running mates should consider before taking the plunge

, Guest Columnist

Although the presidential races in both parties have not been resolved, speculation has already begun regarding vice presidential nominees. Whereas John Kasich and Ted Cruz, like almost every other presidential candidate historically, dismiss any interest in the vice presidency, Ben Carson won’t rule out being Donald Trump’s vice president, Cruz’s camp has apparently made overtures […]

Titanic Tuesday: Trump Leads but Doesn’t Finish the Job

Clinton back on track with a strong night

, Sabato's Crystal Ball

Donald Trump could have generated unstoppable momentum had he won both Ohio and Florida. But now it’s clear to everyone that this will go right through June 7, the end of the Republican primary season. Most observers appear to think that the Republicans are headed for a contested convention now, because with Kasich’s win in […]

The Ball of Confusion That Was 1968

Comparisons between that tumultuous year and 2016 abound

, Director, UVA Center for Politics

Given what has been unfolding in the 2016 campaign, this might be a good time for you to view, or view again, the UVA Center for Politics’ latest documentary, Ball of Confusion. It aired on PBS stations across the nation several months ago, and now we have uploaded it to YouTube (Part 1, Part 2, […]

Storm Clouds Darken Over 2016

, Director, UVA Center for Politics

So now it has come to this. A near riot at Donald Trump’s Chicago rally on Friday evening may be a harbinger of things to come, not just at campaign events but in Cleveland for the Republican convention. The city’s leaders were wise to order extra riot gear recently. Whether Trump wins or loses the […]

For the Anti-Trump Forces, It May Be Now or Never

Meanwhile, Sanders gains on Clinton outside the South

, Sabato's Crystal Ball

As we’ve suggested, the past few weeks have been defined by increasingly-loud talk of a contested convention and the possibility that the presidential contest will go beyond the first ballot, something that has not happened in either party since 1952. The highly unusual circumstances on the Republican side, where the polarizing Donald Trump has finished […]

A Simple Model for Predicting Hillary Clinton’s Vote in the March 15 Democratic Primaries

, Senior Columnist, Sabato's Crystal Ball

A simple model based on two predictors — the racial composition of the Democratic primary electorate and a dummy variable for region — explain over 90% of the variance in Hillary Clinton’s vote share in this year’s Democratic primaries through March 8. The results of a regression analysis of Clinton’s vote share in 12 states […]

Are the Republicans Going the Way of the Whigs?

, Guest Columnist

Many observers have begun to compare today’s GOP to the Whig Party, a major party that collapsed in the years leading up to the American Civil War. Is this a fair comparison? To explore the similarities and differences between the two political parties and the forces threatening their existence, we turned to the man who […]

Why Donald Trump Is Winning and Why His Nomination Could Shatter the Republican Party

, Guest Columnists

There has never been a frontrunner for a major party nomination like Donald Trump. Since announcing his candidacy, Trump has seemingly broken every rule of political campaigning — at times disparaging women, racial minorities, people with disabilities, and leaders of his own party — yet he has led the national polls for nine straight months, […]

The Trumpmare: Can the Republicans Save the Senate?

, Sabato's Crystal Ball

Let’s have some speculative fun, if such a thing is possible in this election year. After recent primaries, it’s not a stretch to imagine Donald Trump as the Republican presidential nominee; in fact, the odds at the moment favor this outcome. Now, add a second, more controversial projection: Trump loses the general election handily to […]

Tuesday’s Super for Trump and Clinton

Continued GOP split helps The Donald. And Hillary is well on her way.

Note: This report is based on results as of 1 a.m. EST or so Wednesday morning. As the dust settles from Super Tuesday, we think the race is the same now as it was before the voting: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are the favorites to win their respective nominations. First, the Republicans: Trump won […]