Sabatos Crystal Ball

Archive for September, 2016

Now We Wait

Let’s see how the debate impacts a tightening election

, Sabato's Crystal Ball

Dear Readers: We’re operating on a slightly modified schedule this week and next. There will be no Crystal Ball on Thursday, Sept. 29, but we’ll be back with a special issue on Monday, Oct. 3. — The Editors The first debate is over! At least everyone survived. If you’re confused about who’s up and who’s […]

Do Debates Matter?

, Sabato's Crystal Ball

Editor’s Note: This article is partially an update of a piece we published in 2012 discussing the impact of presidential debates. To slightly modify Ronald Reagan’s famous rejoinder to Jimmy Carter in their single debate in 1980 (“There you go again”), here we go again — into the debate season. There has been at least […]

AT THE BEGINNING: The Debates of 1960

, Director, UVA Center for Politics

There are a lot of ways to tell you’re getting old, and one is the realization that you have watched every presidential general election debate in U.S. history. The saving grace is that the history is short, with TV debates only beginning in 1960. And truth be told, I was just eight years old when […]

Seeing the Forest for the Trees: Presidential Election Forecasts and the Fundamentals

, Guest Columnist

Dear Readers: Over the past couple of months, we’ve been running a series on election forecasting models. James E. Campbell, who has been compiling these forecasts for us, offers some concluding thoughts on the series below. — The Editors Modern presidential election campaigns generate a massive amount of news. This has never been more true […]


Or is it a Clinton Fallback?

, Sabato's Crystal Ball

And then, everything changed. Well, not everything, but enough to generate the first major revision in our electoral map, and all of it is in Donald Trump’s direction for now. Let us make our view perfectly clear: We still believe that Hillary Clinton is more likely than Trump to win the election, and she still […]

THE FUNDAMENTALS: Where Are We in This Strange Race for President?

And can Trump breach Fortress Obama?

, Sabato's Crystal Ball

Every presidential election is different, but nobody’s going to tell us that this one isn’t notably different from any other in the modern period. It’s not just that the two major-party candidates are so disliked and unpopular with much of the public. While Donald Trump’s numbers are no better and sometimes worse, Hillary Clinton’s unfavorables […]

The Political Science Election Forecasts of the 2016 Presidential and Congressional Elections, Part 5

Dear Readers: This is the final posting in a series of political science forecasts for the 2016 races for the White House and Congress. James E. Campbell, author of the new book Polarized: Making Sense of a Divided America, has assembled presidential and congressional forecasts from eight different individuals and/or teams this year. They were […]


Democrats and Republicans are showing strength in some unexpected places

They aren’t getting much national attention because of the races for the presidency and Congress, but this year’s gubernatorial contests seem to be just as confounding as the ones from 2014 — and they could produce some equally head-scratching results. Heading into Election Day 2014, polls in 11 of the 36 contested races showed a […]


But are they actually just Waiting for Godot?

, Managing Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

In the famous Samuel Beckett play Waiting for Godot, two men are waiting for a third man, Godot, to arrive, but he never does. In the 2016 race for the House, the Democrats (and the Republicans) are waiting for Hillary Clinton to generate a down-ticket, anti-Donald Trump wave. If she does, the field could tilt […]


As we head into Labor Day, Democrats are slight favorites to win a slim Senate majority

, Sabato's Crystal Ball

It seems like only yesterday when the Republicans took over the U.S. Senate. Actually, nearly two years have passed since that big moment, when the GOP gained nine seats and took a 54-46 majority (including two independents who caucus with the Democrats) after eight years of Democratic control. But this may prove to be the […]

The Political Science Election Forecasts of the 2016 Presidential and Congressional Elections, Part 4

Dear Readers: This is the latest in a series of political science forecasts for the 2016 races for the White House and Congress. We’ll be featuring forecasts from nine different individuals and/or teams this year, which James E. Campbell is assembling as part of a project for PS: Political Science and Politics that we are […]