Sabato's Crystal Ball

Archive for June, 2018

The Uncertain Political Ramifications of Justice Kennedy’s Exit

, Sabato's Crystal Ball

Editor’s Note: The Crystal Ball will be off for the Fourth of July. We’ll be back on Thursday, July 12. An already turbulent national political environment was rocked by another major development Wednesday afternoon: Justice Anthony Kennedy, the closest thing there is to a swing vote on the Supreme Court, decided to retire. President Donald […]

A Half-Dozen House Ratings Changes in Favor of Democrats

And the fall of Joe Crowley in New York

, Managing Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE — Rep. Joe Crowley’s (D, NY-14) primary loss represents a changing of the guard in a diverse district. It does not necessarily suggest we should expect a flood of additional Democratic primary losers. As it stands, only three incumbent House members have lost renomination so far this cycle (Crowley, plus […]

Extensive Mid-20th Century Presidential Collection Donated to University of Virginia Center for Politics

The University of Virginia Center for Politics has received an extensive collection of mid-20th century U.S. presidential memorabilia and artifacts from the estate of the late Jack F. Christie. The donation represents one of the largest privately-owned collections ever donated to the Center for Politics, and it’s made up of hundreds of items from the […]

Never Say Die Senate Candidates: Don Blankenship Lost His Primary but Plans to Run in November Anyway

If he does, the former coal magnate will be just the latest in a long line of Senate primary losers to run in a general election

, Associate Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE — Although he lost in West Virginia’s Republican primary for U.S. Senate, Don Blankenship (R) is actively seeking to run in the general election as the Constitution Party’s nominee. His attempt to run in November will likely involve a legal challenge to “sore loser” election rules that prevent a losing […]

Senate 2018: Two Rust Belt Ratings Move in the Democrats’ Direction

Pennsylvania and Wisconsin look more and more like Republican reaches

, Associate Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE — The Crystal Ball has new ratings in the Pennsylvania and Wisconsin U.S. Senate contests, both in Democrats’ direction. In Pennsylvania, Sen. Bob Casey’s (D) reelection bid moves from Likely Democratic to Safe Democratic, while in Wisconsin, Sen. Tammy Baldwin’s (D) race goes from Leans Democratic to Likely Democratic. — […]

Two Ways of Thinking About Election Predictions and What They Tell Us About 2018

There are differences in method, accuracy, and probability between quantitative forecasting and ratings-based handicapping

, Guest Columnist

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE — Two approaches to forecasting — one formally statistical, one rigorous yet flexible handicapping — produce different tools that we can use to evaluate the battle for control of the U.S. House in the 2018 midterms. — The Crystal Ball and other political handicappers use a “qualitative” method to generate […]

What Happened in the June 12 Primary

Maine experiments with ranked-choice voting, the Virginia GOP backs Stewart for Senate, and Sanford loses renomination in South Carolina

, Sabato's Crystal Ball

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE: — Maine became the first state in modern U.S. history to use ranked-choice voting (also known as instant-runoff voting) in a statewide election. But this was not the first time that a state used a form of ranked voting or preferential voting. In the early 1900s, a number of states […]

Ratings Upgrades for Democrats in Ohio

, Managing Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

Table 1: Crystal Ball Senate and gubernatorial ratings changes Senator Old Rating New Rating Sherrod Brown (D-OH) Leans Democratic Likely Democratic Governor Old Rating New Rating OH Open (Kasich, R) Leans Republican Toss-up A confluence of recent polls and reporting suggests that Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) is not really among the top Republican Senate targets […]

Virginia’s Busiest Federal Primary Day in Modern History

The main races to watch on June 12 are the Republican contest for U.S. Senate and the Democrats’ six-way race in VA-10

, Associate Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE — With nine contested U.S. House primaries and one U.S. Senate primary, June 12 will be the busiest federal primary day in Virginia’s modern history, surpassing the seven total contests held in 2012 (one Senate, six House). — In the Republican primary for Senate, Prince William County Board of Supervisors […]

Democrats Seem to Pass the Top-Two Test

Party likely avoids shutouts in key races; plus, ratings changes and other updates from Tuesday night

, Managing Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE — While votes will not be finalized for weeks, Democrats seemingly avoided shutouts in competitive House races in California. — The initial results, while not necessarily predictive for the fall, show the potential for Democrats to make House gains in the Golden State. — Republicans, meanwhile, are pleased that they […]