Sabato's Crystal Ball

Archive for the ‘2016 President’ Category

In 2016’s Game of Musical Chairs, the Music Stopped at the Wrong Time for Clinton

, Sabato's Crystal Ball

After the Bay of Pigs debacle, when U.S.-backed forces tried and spectacularly failed to topple Fidel Castro’s nascent communist regime in Cuba, President John F. Kennedy held a press conference and took blame for the failure. Speaking on April 21, 1961 — just a few months into his presidency — JFK memorably declared, “There’s an […]

Watch Today’s American Democracy Conference

The Crystal Ball is coming out a day early this week because we wanted to invite our readers to watch the University of Virginia Center for Politics’ 18th annual American Democracy Conference, which is going on today from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center in Washington D.C. […]

16 For ’16

Bite-sized observations on a wild election

, Sabato's Crystal Ball

Editor’s Note: The Crystal Ball is taking the week off for Thanksgiving next week, but we’ll be back with another edition on Thursday, Dec. 1. Now that we’ve had a week to digest the results of the 2016 election, here are some observations about what happened and what the results might tell us about the […]

How Accurate Were the Political Science Forecasts of the 2016 Presidential Election?

, Guest Columnist

With the dust settling from one of the most brutal and nasty presidential campaigns in modern American history and with the late vote returns creeping up to a final count, it is time to take stock of the presidential election forecasts offered initially to readers of the Crystal Ball website and then published in the […]

Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa, Mea Maxima Culpa

, UVA Center for Politics

Well, what can we say — we blew it. We thought the signs pointed to Hillary Clinton winning the White House. We thought that even if she lost Florida, North Carolina, and Ohio, her Midwestern “firewall” of states that not only had voted for Barack Obama twice, but hadn’t voted for a Republican since the […]

Our Final 2016 Picks

Clinton 322, Trump 216; 50-50 Senate; GOP holds House

, UVA Center for Politics

After a nearly two-year campaign — kicked off in December 2014 by Jeb Bush (remember him?) — we’ve come to it at last. Election Day is less than 24 hours away. And we know why you’re here: You just want the picks. So let’s cut to the chase. Table 1 shows our final selections for […]

Is Clinton Slipping?

There are more signs of erosion, but her floodgates appear to be holding

, UVA Center for Politics

Hillary Clinton has picked an awful time to hit one of the rough patches that has plagued her throughout the campaign. Now with just days to go until Election Day, there’s added uncertainty about the outcome. But while she may not be on the brink of an Electoral College win the size of Barack Obama’s […]

The Comey Effect

FBI director throws a curveball into the presidential race with a week to go; Clinton slips in ratings but retains clear edge

, UVA Center for Politics

The purest version of the “October surprise” is a political bombshell that no one sees coming. In the closing days of the craziest campaign in modern history, we have just been witnesses to an October surprise so pure it would qualify for an Ivory Soap commercial (“99 and 44/100 percent pure”). When FBI Director James […]

The State of Play With a Dozen Days to Go

Ratings changes in races for president, Congress, and governors

, Sabato's Crystal Ball

Another week has passed in the presidential race and it appears that Donald Trump is not making up much if any ground on Hillary Clinton. Last month, we coined the term “Fortress Obama” to describe an outer and inner ring of defenses Clinton had against Trump as she sought to recreate Barack Obama’s Electoral College […]

An Historical Rarity: A Four-Party Presidential Election

, Senior Columnist, Sabato's Crystal Ball

There is no doubt that this is a high stakes election. It is not Tweedledum and Tweedledee, as former Alabama Gov. George Wallace famously said of the major parties when he ran as a third-party candidate nearly a half century ago. Almost everyone nowadays agrees that a Donald Trump presidency would take the nation in […]

With 19 Days to Go, Clinton’s Lead Is Bigger Than Ever

Arizona leans HRC; McMullin rises in the west; dark red states take on lighter hue

, Sabato's Crystal Ball

The mist is lifting from the map of the United States and the moment of clarity for the 2016 general election campaign has arrived. Yes, there is still uncertainty about some states in the Electoral College. But nearly all of it comes in states that Mitt Romney won in 2012 or a couple of Barack […]

Could Johnson Voters Save the Republican Senate Majority?

Also, don’t forget about Florida

, Associate Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

The watchword for congressional races in a presidential year is coattails, specifically in this election negative coattails from Donald Trump. In the Senate, a number of GOP incumbents are hoping they can run just far enough ahead of their presidential standard bearer to survive. But this is a perilous place to be. As we discussed […]

Mixed Signals in the Race for the House

Could Trump ruin what has otherwise been a decent Republican cycle?

, Managing Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

This may be a particularly bad time to write an update on the House. But we’re going to do so anyway, if only to explain why that is. Mainly, it’s because we’re in a very hazy period in the battle for control of the lower chamber — a battle that, it should be noted, the […]

President 2016: Georgia Is Back in Play

, Managing Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

Donald Trump’s apparent slide in the polls is continuing, and with that more states seem to be coming into play. We already moved heavily Republican Utah to Leans Republican earlier this week, a decision that was backed up by a recent Deseret News poll showing Clinton and Trump tied at 26% apiece, with independent Republican […]

The Danger of the Political Limelight

The presidential nominee getting more of the public’s attention tends to fare worse in the polls

, Associate Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

Back in mid-September, we noted that there appeared to be at least a limited negative (or inverse) relationship between the amount of attention one presidential nominee was garnering from the public relative to the other nominee and that candidate’s position in the polls. In short, the candidate getting more coverage tended to see a decline […]