Sabatos Crystal Ball

Archive for October, 2016


FBI director throws a curveball into the presidential race with a week to go; Clinton slips in ratings but retains clear edge

, UVA Center for Politics

The purest version of the “October surprise” is a political bombshell that no one sees coming. In the closing days of the craziest campaign in modern history, we have just been witnesses to an October surprise so pure it would qualify for an Ivory Soap commercial (“99 and 44/100 percent pure”). When FBI Director James […]


Ratings changes in races for president, Congress, and governors

, Sabato's Crystal Ball

Another week has passed in the presidential race and it appears that Donald Trump is not making up much if any ground on Hillary Clinton. Last month, we coined the term “Fortress Obama” to describe an outer and inner ring of defenses Clinton had against Trump as she sought to recreate Barack Obama’s Electoral College […]


, Senior Columnist, Sabato's Crystal Ball

There is no doubt that this is a high stakes election. It is not Tweedledum and Tweedledee, as former Alabama Gov. George Wallace famously said of the major parties when he ran as a third-party candidate nearly a half century ago. Almost everyone nowadays agrees that a Donald Trump presidency would take the nation in […]

With 19 days to go, Clinton’s lead is bigger than ever

Arizona leans HRC; McMullin rises in the west; dark red states take on lighter hue

, Sabato's Crystal Ball

The mist is lifting from the map of the United States and the moment of clarity for the 2016 general election campaign has arrived. Yes, there is still uncertainty about some states in the Electoral College. But nearly all of it comes in states that Mitt Romney won in 2012 or a couple of Barack […]

Could Johnson Voters Save the Republican Senate Majority?

Also, don’t forget about Florida

, Associate Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

The watchword for congressional races in a presidential year is coattails, specifically in this election negative coattails from Donald Trump. In the Senate, a number of GOP incumbents are hoping they can run just far enough ahead of their presidential standard bearer to survive. But this is a perilous place to be. As we discussed […]

House 2016: Democrats gain in ratings

But the Republicans remain favorites

, Managing Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

While there has not yet been a major breakthrough for Democrats in the House, their fortunes do appear to be improving, at least marginally. We’re making 11 ratings changes: nine favor Democrats, while two favor Republicans. Let’s start with the changes that boost the GOP. While Hillary Clinton is going to dominate Donald Trump in […]


Could Trump ruin what has otherwise been a decent Republican cycle?

, Managing Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

This may be a particularly bad time to write an update on the House. But we’re going to do so anyway, if only to explain why that is. Mainly, it’s because we’re in a very hazy period in the battle for control of the lower chamber — a battle that, it should be noted, the […]


, Managing Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

Donald Trump’s apparent slide in the polls is continuing, and with that more states seem to be coming into play. We already moved heavily Republican Utah to Leans Republican earlier this week, a decision that was backed up by a recent Deseret News poll showing Clinton and Trump tied at 26% apiece, with independent Republican […]


The presidential nominee getting more of the public’s attention tends to fare worse in the polls

, Associate Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

Back in mid-September, we noted that there appeared to be at least a limited negative (or inverse) relationship between the amount of attention one presidential nominee was garnering from the public relative to the other nominee and that candidate’s position in the polls. In short, the candidate getting more coverage tended to see a decline […]

Clinton adds to her Electoral College edge

Debate probably only reinforces the new status quo

, UVA Center for Politics

In the broad sweep of U.S. history, very occasionally one of the major parties simply disqualifies itself from the contest to win the White House by nominating an unelectable, non-mainstream candidate. We suspect that there will never be a better example than Donald Trump. The Republican Party chose a deeply divisive figure — one not […]

Clinton’s Electoral College lead regenerates

She’s back over 300 electoral votes after a post-debate polling boon

, UVA Center for Politics

Programming note: We’ll release a special Crystal Ball Sunday night with a recap of the second presidential debate. As we await the second debate, it’s obvious that Hillary Clinton got a bounce from the first debate and has re-established a clear lead in the presidential race. Her national lead in the RealClearPolitics average has gone […]


The longstanding blue and red counties that Clinton and Trump could flip

, Guest Columnist

Editor’s note: As a part of the development of this article, the Crystal Ball team compiled a database of county winners going back to 1836. Click here to access it. Political types may love the 2016 election, but we recognize that for many, it is a dreary affair. Media saturation and two unpopular candidates can […]

Why Trump will do better in Ohio than he does nationally

And why that doesn’t guarantee he’ll win the state

, Managing Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

“There is no city in the United States in which I get a warmer welcome and fewer votes than Columbus, Ohio.” – John F. Kennedy For the first time since Ohio rejected Kennedy in favor of Richard M. Nixon in 1960, it seems quite possible that the Buckeye State will find itself on the losing […]