Sabato's Crystal Ball

Archive for the ‘2014 Senate’ Category

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 […]

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 […]

Microscope on Magnolias

Runoff turnout drops, McDaniel as Reagan and other Mississippi tidbits

, Sabato's Crystal Ball

An old country phrase best describes the possibility of a turnout increase saving Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) in an upcoming runoff: That dog don’t hunt. But it’s also far from clear whether a bigger turnout would naturally help Cochran in the runoff anyway. Mississippi Republicans voted at record levels in the regular primary, and that […]

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 […]

Senate Class Population Imbalance

How did the three Senate classes end up this way?

, Associate Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

The Crystal Ball’s Kyle Kondik recently published a piece in Politico Magazine on 10 maps that explain the 2014 election. We recently highlighted one of those maps, which focused on the rather unrepresentative nature of the Senate Class 2 map that is up this November. Its 33 states contain slightly more than half (51.8%) of […]

Nationalization of Senate Elections Poses Challenge to Democrats in 2014

, Senior Columnist, Sabato's Crystal Ball

Democrats face several challenges in trying to maintain their majority in the U.S. Senate in the 2014 midterm election. In addition to the normal tendency of the president’s party to lose seats in midterm elections, Democrats are defending 21 of the 36 seats that are up this year including seven seats in states that were […]

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, […]