Sabatos Crystal Ball

Archive for July, 2016


After the conventions, the presidential race heads into the dog days

, Sabato's Crystal Ball

As the nation’s political class, reporters, and analysts recover from the two-week convention slog — we know, the nation feels so sorry for us — the presidential race enters something of a lull. Labor Day, the traditional kick-off to the general election sprint, is still a month away, and August is a month dominated by […]

The Kennedy Conventions, Parts 2 and 3

JFK holds off LBJ in 1960, and then looms over his successor’s convention four years later

, Director, UVA Center for Politics

Dear readers: This is the second and third part of a three-part series on the 1956, 1960, and 1964 Democratic National Conventions, and John F. Kennedy’s role at each. Click here to read part one. — The Editors Part II: Jack Kennedy’s 1960 Convention Triumph In 2016, some delegates in both parties have hoped the […]

Clinton over the hump, and Trump gets a bump

The state of the race after Clinton makes it official

, Sabato's Crystal Ball

(PHILADELPHIA) — After Donald Trump picked Mike Pence to be his running mate two weeks ago — that feels like two months ago, right? — we suggested that Trump could end up taking at least a temporary lead because of the convention bounce that presidential candidates typically get after their conventions. It appears that Trump […]

Kennedy’s Three Conventions, Part 1

Coming up second in the 1956 veepstakes

, Director, UVA Center for Politics

Dear readers: With the Clinton family seeking to cement itself as the Democratic dynasty of the present, this week during the Democratic National Convention we’re taking a look back at the Democratic dynasty of the past — the Kennedys, and, specifically, John F. Kennedy. Center for Politics Director Larry J. Sabato, author of The Kennedy […]

Clinton-Kaine: A Not-So Surprising Ticket

Picking VA senator makes the Old Dominion bluer; plus, wrapping up the RNC

(CLEVELAND) — If someone had told us at the start of this election cycle that the Democratic presidential nominee would be Hillary Clinton, and that she would choose Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia as her running mate, we would have said that would be… very, very plausible. Now that Clinton has tabbed Kaine as her […]

What to Expect When You’re Expecting a Bounce

A nominee’s poll numbers almost always improve after a party convention

, Associate Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

The convention bounce is a long-established pattern in presidential election cycles. Much has been written about it, so we won’t rehash it too much. The main point is that conventions almost always generate an increase in a nominee’s polling numbers during and after his or her convention, but often times the bounce is short-lived. Still, […]

Not So Hot in Cleveland

Assessing RNC 2016 at the halfway point

(CLEVELAND) — With two nights down at the Republican National Convention and two nights to go, here are five quick observations on Trump TV: An uneven presentation Some conventions resemble a work of art or a play with a polished script. Others are more like half-finished modern art or a first draft of a production […]


From Taft to Trump, with a lot in between

, Managing Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

Dear Readers: This essay is partially adapted from Crystal Ball Managing Editor Kyle Kondik’s new book, The Bellwether: Why Ohio Picks the President. — The Editors (CLEVELAND) – Just a few hundred feet from the U.S. Capitol Dome lies a carillon, or bell tower, dedicated to a man who had put in many years of […]

A Few Pence Richer? Trump Picks a Running Mate

, Sabato's Crystal Ball

Our own sources in and around Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana have told us what everyone else has been reporting: He appears to be Donald Trump’s vice presidential pick. Still, to the best of their knowledge, the official call from Trump has not yet been made. We all know Trump is full of surprises, so […]

Why Ohio Picks the President

A preview of Kyle Kondik's new book on Ohio, The Bellwether

, Managing Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

Dear Readers: This essay is adapted from Crystal Ball managing editor Kyle Kondik’s new book, The Bellwether: Why Ohio Picks the President, which is now available. As the nation turns its eyes to Cleveland next week, Kondik explains why his home state is seemingly always a reflection of national presidential voting and a major prize […]

Venus vs. Mars: A Record-Setting Gender Gap?

2016 could see the largest political divide between men and women in the exit poll era

, Associate Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

With four months to go in the 2016 general election campaign, national polls suggest that it’s quite possible that the Hillary Clinton-Donald Trump clash may well set a new record for partisan differences between the sexes. Since Clinton effectively sewed up the Democratic nomination on June 7, the average gender gap in 22 national polls […]

Vice Presidential Selection 2016: Will the Patterns Predict the Picks?

, Guest Columnist

Dear Readers: As Donald Trump reportedly prepares to announce a running mate next week and Hillary Clinton, dealing with the aftereffects of FBI Director James Comey’s announcement regarding her email scandal, ponders her choice as well, we again welcome Prof. Joel Goldstein to weigh in on the veepstakes. Goldstein is the nation’s leading expert on […]


, Director, UVA Center for Politics

Dear Readers: Larry J. Sabato, founder and director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics, will be the keynote speaker for the 54th annual Independence Day Celebration and Naturalization ceremony at Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson and a must-visit American treasure. This ceremony is the oldest continuous naturalization ceremony that takes place outside […]