Sabato's Crystal Ball

Archive for the ‘2004 Senate’ Category

Republicans Enlarge Senate Majority

GOP majority now includes 55 senators

, Senior Writer

Building on the success from the 2002 midterm elections, the Crystal Ball correctly predicted 97 percent of Senate races. In the first hours of election night it was clear that Republicans would enlarge their majority in the upper chamber of Congress, but three contests gave the Crystal Ball a moment of pause. As the first […]

Florida Senate 2004

Republican Mel Martinez faces Democrat Betty Castor

With his failed bid for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004, Senator Bob Graham of Florida announced his retirement from the United States Senate. The political juggernaut of Florida who won his last two races for the Senate with at least 62 percent of the vote is now gone; the Democrats and Republicans are now […]

Louisiana Senate 2004

Three Democrats and two Republicans vie for Louisiana's open seat

With Louisiana’s open primary system, the slate of candidates facing voters on Election Day isn’t as simple as one Democrat against one Republican. Any number of candidates from any party may enter the race, but to be declared the winner, one must secure a majority of votes. In a race with seven official candidates–four of […]

Missouri Senate 2004

Republican Kit Bond defends his seat against Nancy Farmer

Missourians, as you may have heard from pundits, have the unique ability to refer to their home as a “microcosm” of American Politics—at least in presidential races. For over the past century, Missouri voters have sided correctly with every presidential contest victor, save one: Adlai Stevenson in 1956. The balanced yet uncertain political atmosphere makes […]

North Carolina Senate 2004

Republican Richard Burr faces Democrat Erskine Bowles

With the upcoming Nov. 2 elections, Tar Heels have more on their minds than the presidential race. John Kerry’s running mate, Senator John Edwards, who upon accepting his vice-presidential bid vacated his seat in the Senate, leaves North Carolina voters with a choice between two replacements: Democrat Erskine Bowles and Republican Richard Burr. Three key […]

South Carolina Senate 2004

Republican Jim DeMint faces Democrat Inez Tenenbaum

With the retirement of Senator Ernest “Fritz” Hollings, the Republican Party has been poised to take this seat in one of the most conservative states in the union. After a tight primary that led to a runoff, the ball was handed to Representative Jim DeMint and the field was wide open. However, before reaching the […]

Pennsylvania Senate 2004

Republican Arlen Specter defends his seat against Joe Hoeffel

In a state so closely divided, Republican Arlen Specter’s bid for reelection against Democratic challenger Joe Hoeffel has important implications for Pennsylvania, the make-up of the Senate, and possibly the presidential election. Specter had earlier in the year encountered some rough going on the campaign trail with a very close call—by the standards of a […]

Wisoncsin Senate 2004

Democrat Russ Feingold defends his seat against Tim Michels

For years, Senator Russ Feingold has proven himself as a tenacious underdog who has always beat the odds. He squeaked his way through a three-way Democratic primary with less money than his opponents by using quirky, catchy television ads as his two opponents tore each other apart. He then went on to unseat Senator Bob […]

Colorado Senate 2004

Republican Pete Coors faces Democrat Ken Salazar

The race for Colorado’s open Senate seat, being vacated by republican Ben Campbell, pits Democrat Ken Salazar against Republican Pete Coors. Colorado is traditionally a Republican stronghold, but nothing could be farther from the truth this year. Most polls in the state show a close race, with the latest poll, compiled by Survey USA, having […]

Oklahoma Senate 2004

Republican Tom Coburn faces Democrat Brad Carson

With the retirement of Republican senator Don Nickles, an interesting contest has broken out between two self-described outsiders: physician and former Representative Tom Coburn for the Republicans, and Representative Brad Carson for the Democrats. Several factors have nudged this race left and right, but have eventually leveled out right down the middle. Tom Coburn entered […]

Alaska Senate 2004

Republican Lisa Murkowski defends her seat against Tony Knowles

It has been thirty years since the state of Alaska elected a Democrat to the Senate, but the outcome of this year’s Senate race is anything but certain for the GOP. The seat is currently held by Republican Lisa Murkowski, who was appointed by her father, Frank Murkowski, who won the governor’s mansion in 2002 […]

South Dakota Senate 2004

Democrat Tom Daschle defends his seat against John Thune

Aside from Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, South Dakota Senator Tom Daschle sits atop the Republican hit list in this electoral cycle. Republicans eye him as the front man for obstructing their legislation and judicial nominees in the Senate. Now, they have a strong candidate gunning for Daschle, former Congressman John Thune, who narrowly lost […]

The Brutal Bottom Line

, Director, U.Va. Center for Politics

President It’s all about Bush, the incumbent, especially after John Kerry’s success in the first presidential debate in shifting the focus back to the performance of the Bush administration. The people will vote “thumbs up/thumbs down” based on Bush’s handling of the twin challenges of a shaky economy and a continuing war in Iraq. Just […]

Specter Almost Lives Up to His Name, Narrowly Avoids Political Death

, Director, U.Va. Center for Politics

Specter just barely squeaked it out. This is not particularly impressive – to say the least – for a 24-year Senate incumbent who had the strong support of the president, the other senator (a strong conservative), and just about everybody else. Plus, commentators were almost unanimous in saying that if Toomey won, the seat would […]