Sabato's Crystal Ball

Archive for the ‘2014 House’ Category

House 2014: Handicapping The “Drive to 245”

How plausible is the GOP’s lower chamber goal?

, Managing Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

A Republican at the end of 1928 could look back on the previous few decades and smile: His party was quite clearly the dominant force in American politics. Starting in 1896, Republicans had held the White House for 24 of 32 years, interrupted only by the GOP split that helped Democrat Woodrow Wilson get elected […]

Notes on the State of Politics

Reaction to third-party piece In an article on the topic last week, we asked readers to chime in with other races where they thought third-party and independent candidates might have an impact on some statewide races. We got a lot of e-mails and tweets about the gubernatorial and Senate contests in Georgia, but multiple readers […]

Americans Are Politically Divided and Our Feelings Toward the Parties Show It

, Senior Columnist, Sabato's Crystal Ball

How politically divided are ordinary Americans? The recent release of a report on polarization in public opinion by the Pew Research Center has reignited a debate among journalists and academics about the depth of the divisions between supporters of the two major parties. One of the key findings of the report is that supporters of […]

An Above-Average Year for Incumbents?

A handful of House members -- and a senator -- will have to lose in the remaining primaries just to match postwar averages

, Managing Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

With the primary season more than half over, it’s fair to say that incumbents have done just fine this cycle so far: better than fine, in fact. So far this cycle, 273 of 275 House incumbents who wanted another term have been renominated, and 18 of 18 Senate incumbents. That includes results from the 31 […]

Republicans: “Thank God for Mississippi!”

Dissecting Thad Cochran’s comeback and other notes from Tuesday’s primaries

, Sabato's Crystal Ball

Editors’ Note: A version of the story below appeared in Politico Magazine on Wednesday morning as Thank God for Mississippi. The Crystal Ball is taking a break for July 4, so our next edition will be published in two weeks, on Thursday, July 10. — The Editors “Mississippi adds another variant to the politics of […]

Picking Your Primary Poison

As Herbert Hoover discovered, meddling in primaries can backfire

, Senior Columnist, Sabato's Crystal Ball

Analysts are noticing the Democrats’ efforts to meddle in Republican primaries. In a Wall Street Journal article from last month, Janet Hook writes “Democrats increasingly are running ads against GOP candidates even before they win their party’s nomination. By attacking GOP candidates while they are still embroiled in a primary election campaign, some Democrats have […]

Notes on the State of Politics

House ratings changes, next week's primaries and Center for Politics wins an Emmy

, Sabato's Crystal Ball

House ratings changes A race-by-race analysis, as well as history, suggests Republicans are in line to make a small, mid-to-high single-digit addition to their majority, but there’s been little movement one way or the other in most races or in the overall climate. We’re planning to take a fuller look at the House picture next […]

Cantor’s Fall

The House majority leader’s shocking loss is more an outlier than a harbinger

, Sabato's Crystal Ball

Note: A version of this story appeared as “Your Theory About Why Cantor Lost Is Probably Wrong” on Politico Magazine Wednesday night. The Richmond Times-Dispatch called it a “political earthquake.” It was the “upset of the century,” added Fredericksburg’s Free Lance-Star. A powerful, veteran member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Virginia had fallen […]

Mcdaniel’s ‘Friends and Neighbors’

The fallout from Tuesday’s primaries

, Sabato's Crystal Ball

In his classic book Southern Politics in State and Nation, V.O. Key Jr. wrote about the importance of “friends and neighbors” in one-party southern elections. More than half a century after the book was written, strength at home powered yet another Deep South candidate. Tuesday night featured about as dramatic a race as we’ve seen […]

Notes on the State of Politics: Primary Edition

, Managing Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

National Republicans get their men (and women) The key takeaway from Tuesday night’s primaries, and the primary season in general so far, is that national Republican leaders are getting the general election nominees they want in key races. What they do with those nominees in the fall remains to be seen. In Tuesday’s marquee event, […]

Notes on the State of Politics

, Managing Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

Arkansas now a Toss-up It’s become clear over the past few months that Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR), despite the increasing Republican lean of his state, has been holding his own, or better, against Rep. Tom Cotton (R, AR-4). Several positive polls for the incumbent, including a too-optimistic 11-point lead from NBC/Marist earlier this week, moved […]

Are Republicans Really Doomed Demographically?

, Senior Columnist, Sabato's Crystal Ball

Much of the debate about elections today revolves around the “Emerging Democratic Majority” thesis, taken from the 2002 book of the same name. The thesis is pretty straightforward: Because of demographic changes, the GOP is on a path toward irrelevance unless it can remake itself and appeal to the rising electorate. The theory has congealed […]

Primary Roundup: North Carolina Republicans Vote for Electability

, Managing Editor, U.Va. Center for Politics

Backed by an onslaught of advertising from outside establishment Republican groups and assisted by the lack of a top-tier opponent, North Carolina state House Speaker Thom Tillis (R) won his party’s Senate nomination on Tuesday night, capturing about 46% of the vote. He needed 40% to avoid a runoff against the second-place finisher, Tea Party […]

The Minimal Class Divide in American Politics

Why Growing Economic Inequality Does Not Explain Partisan Polarization

, Senior Columnist, Sabato's Crystal Ball

How deep is the class divide in American politics today? According to some scholars and pundits, it is very deep indeed. In a recent post on the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog, Larry Bartels of Vanderbilt University, the author of Unequal Democracy and a highly regarded public opinion scholar, presented evidence from a multi-nation public […]

Notes on the State of Politics

Primary season begins in earnest and Grimm tidings in the House

April quiet brings May excitement After two states, Texas and Illinois, held the first primary contests of the 2014 election calendar in March, April featured exactly zero. But a month and a half of inactivity will give way to a busy May primary season with 11 scheduled elections, as seen below in Table 1. Table […]