Sabato's Crystal Ball

Archive for the ‘Rating Change’ Category

The House Tilts Toward the Democrats

Big-picture factors help minority party, but battle far from over; 17 ratings changes in favor of Democrats

, Managing Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

Editor’s Note: This is a special Tuesday edition of the Crystal Ball. We’ll be back to our regular Thursday schedule next week. KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE — Democrats are now a little better than 50-50 to win the House. This is the first time this cycle we’ve gone beyond 50-50 odds on a House […]

A Half-Dozen House Ratings Changes in Favor of Democrats

And the fall of Joe Crowley in New York

, Managing Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE — Rep. Joe Crowley’s (D, NY-14) primary loss represents a changing of the guard in a diverse district. It does not necessarily suggest we should expect a flood of additional Democratic primary losers. As it stands, only three incumbent House members have lost renomination so far this cycle (Crowley, plus […]

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 Trump Surge

Or is it a Clinton Fallback?

, Sabato's Crystal Ball

And then, everything changed. Well, not everything, but enough to generate the first major revision in our electoral map, and all of it is in Donald Trump’s direction for now. Let us make our view perfectly clear: We still believe that Hillary Clinton is more likely than Trump to win the election, and she still […]

The Down-Ballot Outlook as 2016 Approaches

Full Senate, House, and gubernatorial updates and ratings changes

, Managing Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

The upcoming battle for the Senate depends to a large extent on the presidential race; Democrats should gain House seats but not truly threaten the GOP’s big lower chamber majority; and Republicans are positioned to add to their already-substantial majority of governorships. That’s the early line on next year’s down-ballot contests as we prepare to […]

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 […]