Sabato's Crystal Ball

Archive for the ‘2014 Senate’ Category

Senate Ratings Changes: North Carolina, New Hampshire, and Minnesota

Plus gubernatorial updates

, Managing Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

Another week is down the drain in the race for the Senate, and while our overall outlook is unchanged — a five to eight seat gain for the GOP — some of our ratings are in need of adjustments. One of these comes as a surprise, as Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) is proving to be […]

Overtime: Five Reasons Senate Control Might Not Be Decided on Election Day

, Managing Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

Think the Senate will be decided on Election Day, Nov. 4? There are all sorts of reasons why you shouldn’t, unless in the next seven weeks one side or the other — probably the Republicans — starts opening up a clear lead in enough races to give them a clear majority. If neither side does, […]

Oops! They Weren’t Supposed to Win

November’s recent surprise winners, plus your suggestions

, The Crystal Ball Team

U.Va. Center for Politics Director Larry J. Sabato is contributing a regular column to Politico Magazine. This week he took a look at races that featured upsets and surprising outcomes in Senate and gubernatorial contests since 2002. In the piece, he asked for readers to let us know if we missed any races worth mentioning, […]

What Is a Wave in the Senate?

Defining the undefinable as Republican chances inch upward

, U.Va. Center for Politics

For several months, we’ve held steady on our range of expected gains for Republicans in the Senate: a net of four to eight seats. With Labor Day in the rearview mirror and with less than 55 days to go until the midterms, we’re giving Republicans a slight bump: Our new range is a Republican net […]

Primary Particulars

Wrapping up the 2014 primary season with incumbent comparisons to 2010 and 2006

, Associate Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

After Tuesday’s contests in Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island, primary season is essentially over. Only Louisiana remains, but it is in a class by itself with a unique “jungle primary” that takes place on what is general Election Day for every other state. Nothing is ever simple when compiling election stats, and we […]

Off to the Races

Our pre-Labor Day midterm assessment, and a handful of Senate, House, and gubernatorial rating changes

, U.Va. Center for Politics

Earlier this week we offered a pre-Labor Day assessment of the midterm state of play in the Senate, House, and gubernatorial races coming up in November. The conclusion of that piece, written in Politico Magazine, is as follows: The overall picture is this: A Republican Senate gain of four-to-eight seats, with a GOP Senate pickup of […]

2014: More Than a Backlash From 2008

, Senior Columnist, Sabato's Crystal Ball

The 2014 Senate elections are not shaping up to be particularly favorable for the Democrats. While there are still scenarios where they could walk away breaking even, or even gaining a seat or two, those scenarios are pretty far-fetched. Current predictions vary somewhat, but seem to center around Republicans picking up somewhere between five and […]

The Senate Race That Couldn’t Be Lost — and Was

A lesson in political humility

, Director, U.Va. Center for Politics

U.Va. Center for Politics Director Larry J. Sabato is contributing a regular column to Politico Magazine. This week, he goes into the history hutch to look back at the 1964 U.S. Senate race in California, which had an unexpected outcome. — The Editors If there is one nightmare common to all U.S. senators, it’s the […]

Senate: 2014 a Year All Its Own

Republicans’ takeover odds remain decent, but this isn’t 2006 or 2010

, Sabato's Crystal Ball

Analysts always strain to generalize about elections. We want to “model” them, find the common elements, and project them as early as possible based on the commonalities. That’s a legitimate approach, but we need always remember that every election is different. Every single one. It isn’t just the candidates that change up, or the specific […]

The Hidden Barrier to a Republican Senate Majority

The GOP has had little recent success defeating Democratic incumbents

, Managing Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

If Republicans are to win the Senate, they probably are going to have to do something they haven’t done since 1980: beat more than two Democratic Senate incumbents in November. In that Reagan Revolution election — one of the best for the Republican Party in its entire history — the GOP flipped 12 seats held […]

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 […]

2014 Races Where Third-Party and Independent Candidates Could Impact Outcomes

, Associate Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

While it’s very hard for third-party and independent candidates to win statewide elections outright, they can have some impact on the outcome. This may be true again in some 2014 contests for U.S. Senate and governor. Some outsider candidates will get a fair amount of press, such as ex-Sen. Larry Pressler’s independent Senate bid in […]

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 […]