Sabato's Crystal Ball

Archive for the ‘Rating Change’ Category

Ratings Changes: A Senate Sleeper in Kentucky?

Plus, Democrats get some improved odds in a handful of House races

, Managing Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

The prospect of Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) winning the Republican presidential nomination seems as remote as ever. But that doesn’t mean Senate Republicans can just assume the seat will stay safely in their column next year. The Senate situation in the Bluegrass State highlights six Crystal Ball race ratings changes, which are shown in Table […]

Notes on the State of Politics

, Managing Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

How the North Dakota gubernatorial race could decide the Senate The decision by Gov. Jack Dalrymple (R-ND) to not run for another term potentially puts a 2016 gubernatorial race in play for Democrats. But winning it might involve a trade-off that most Democrats wouldn’t make: the governorship of one of the nation’s least populous states […]

A Small Senate Battlefield

Control of upper chamber likely to come down to about a quarter of 2016’s races

, Sabato's Crystal Ball

Since we last took a comprehensive look at the 2016 Senate races, a slew of new candidates have jumped in, some promising contenders have dropped out, and intraparty competition has intensified. Sounds dramatic. Yet what most strikes us is the overall stability, thus far at least, of the Senate picture. First, Democrats have a plausible […]

House 2016: Gridlock Ahead for a Possible Clinton Administration?

She would likely be first Democratic president to never hold the House

, Managing Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

If Hillary Clinton wins the White House, there’s a decent chance that she will achieve a historic first, but not the one everybody talks about. Clinton could become the first Democratic president in the party’s nearly two century-long history* to never control the House of Representatives while she’s in office. That’s not a firm prediction, […]

Senate 2016: Sorting Out the Democrats’ Best Targets

Johnson falls, Toomey rises, in our latest ratings

, Managing Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

Former Sen. Russ Feingold’s (D) long-expected decision to challenge Sen. Ron Johnson (R) in a 2016 rematch crystallized for us that Johnson is the most vulnerable incumbent senator in the country. But it also helped put the other top Senate races into context. First of all, let’s re-set the scene. Map 1 shows Senate Class […]

Governors 2015-2016: Republicans Lose Edge in Kentucky

Intra-party divisions causing early problems for GOP in red states

, Managing Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

The potential for Republicans to build on their already-gaudy collection of state governorships — they hold 31 of 50 — was rooted in their red state opportunities among the 15 states being contested this year and next year. Democrats are defending open seats in Kentucky this year, and Missouri and West Virginia next year. These […]

Notes on the State of Politics

, Managing Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

West Virginia governor: Manchin’s choice makes Republicans a narrow favorite After months of hinting that he might prefer to return home to run for a third term as governor, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) decided to stay put in the Senate. That creates an open seat in the Mountain State — Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (D) […]

Marco Rubio’s Intriguing Presidential Bid

He’s a potentially strong contender for the GOP nod

, Associate Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

Early on Monday, news broke that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) will run for president, ending any uncertainty about his future and whether he would remain in the Senate. He was scheduled to officially announce his candidacy late Monday afternoon. As he enters the race, Rubio sits in third behind ex-Gov. Jeb Bush (R-FL) and Gov. […]

Notes on the State of Politics

Nevada Senate after Reid’s retirement, plus two gubernatorial ratings changes and some House updates

, Managing Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

The retirement of Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) last week gives Republicans something they have been lacking in the early stages of this Senate cycle: a 50-50 shot at picking up a seat currently held by a Democrat. True, Reid’s poor approval numbers meant he was going to be a target of Republicans anyway. […]

Maneuvers in 2016 Senate Races Necessitate One Ratings Change…in the House

Florida and Indiana Senate contests get shaken up

Early this week, developments in Florida and Indiana caused a stir. First, news broke early Monday morning that Rep. Patrick Murphy (D, FL-18) will run for the Sunshine State’s Senate seat currently held by Sen. Marco Rubio (R), who is exploring a presidential run. Then, on Tuesday, Sen. Dan Coats (R-IN) announced that he would […]

House 2016: Patriots & One-Term Wonders on the Frontline

What we can learn from both parties’ lists of top races, plus other notes

, Managing Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

Over the past few weeks the two parties’ House campaign arms, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee, have begun to roll out their lists of vulnerable seats and of the opposing seats they are targeting. The primary purpose for these lists is, of course, fundraising. They are a flashing billboard […]

Oregon Governor: Democrats Retain an Edge as Race Comes Onto the Board

, Associate Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

Just like that, there are now 12 gubernatorial races on the docket for 2016 instead of the original 11: Oregon’s now ex-Gov. John Kitzhaber (D) announced on Friday that he would resign the governorship effective Wednesday, Feb. 18. Because the Beaver State has no lieutenant governor position, the next in line is the state’s secretary […]

Ny-11 Special: Republicans Well-Positioned to Hold One of Nation’s Most Distinctive Districts

But Democrats get a new target via retirement

, Managing Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

Could the indictment of former Rep. Michael Grimm (R, NY-11) have worked out any better for national Republicans? Probably not. That may seem like an odd observation to make, but follow along. Despite winning reelection in 2012, an ethical cloud was hanging over Grimm, to the point where Democratic and Republican operatives wondered if, and […]

Senate 2016: The Republicans’ 2012 Homework

GOP’s map daunting, but Democrats recently thrived despite starting in similar spot

, Managing Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

After playing offense in 2014 and netting nine Senate seats to set up a 54-46 majority in the 114th Congress, Republicans will mostly be playing defense in 2016. That probably means the GOP will end up losing seats, but recent history suggests that we should not be certain about that. Heading into the 2016 Senate […]

Governors 2016: Republicans to Make Further Gains?

, Associate Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

Gubernatorial elections take something of a back seat during the presidential cycle. Over time, as most states moved to having four-year terms for their chief executives, most also opted to have their gubernatorial contests in non-presidential years. Just 11 states will choose governors in 2016, versus the 36 that did in 2014 (New Hampshire and […]