Sabato's Crystal Ball

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Recent Rating Change Stories

The House Retirements That (Might) Matter in November

, Managing Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

The retirement of Rep. Tom Petri (R, WI-6) means that 41 members of the House are leaving the lower chamber at the end of this Congress in order to either exit public life or run for another office. There are clear governing implications for these retirements: For instance, several of the retiring members, like Reps. […]

Ratings Changes: Georgia, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and West Virginia

, Managing Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

Two statewide southerners are seeing their fortunes move in opposite directions, while the weight of both a party label and a barrage of negative advertising look increasingly likely to sink one of the longest-serving members of the House. Here are this week’s Crystal Ball ratings changes in four gubernatorial, Senate and House contests. Table 1: […]

Ratings Changes: Hawaii, Maryland and Michigan

, Sabato's Crystal Ball

In addition to our new Crystal Ball Outlook for the House, Senate and gubernatorial races, we have a few tweaks to make to our ratings this week. To get our ratings changes as they happen, follow the Crystal Ball team on Twitter — @LarrySabato, @kkondik and @geoffreyvs — and check our website’s Ratings Changes page. […]

Long Odds for Most Senate Primary Challenges

History shows once again that it’s hard to beat an incumbent

, Sabato's Crystal Ball

Last week, the Crystal Ball updated some 2014 general election ratings in the Senate. The takeaway: Control of Congress’ upper chamber very much hangs in the balance. As a follow-up, this week we’re taking a look at some important Senate primaries in states that are likely to have uncompetitive general elections. In heavily Democratic and […]

Senate 2014: A Coin-Flip

, U.Va. Center for Politics

Political news in the opening weeks of 2014’s midterm year has been dominated not by the upcoming national election, but instead by the one coming after it, in 2016. The year’s biggest political story is Gov. Chris Christie’s (R-NJ) bridge controversy, which is a story about the next presidential campaign and how much damage it […]

A “Special” Favorite Emerges

Plus other Crystal Ball ratings changes in House and gubernatorial races

, Managing Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

The matchup is now set in the closely-watched special election for a Tampa-area congressional district: David Jolly, a former lobbyist and aide to the late Rep. Bill Young (R, FL-13), comfortably won the GOP primary on Tuesday over two others. He will face Alex Sink (D), the state’s former chief financial officer and 2010 Democratic […]

Virginia’s Brewing 2014 Senate Race Flips 2013’s Script

, Managing Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

The hack versus the partisan — sound familiar? An interesting wrinkle of former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie’s likely challenge to Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) is that the forthcoming campaign, so long as it materializes, would in some ways simply reverse the arguments from last year’s Virginia gubernatorial race. In that contest, won by […]

The Future Shape of the House

, Managing Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

The U.S. Census Bureau recently released new population projections for all 50 states. The results are not particularly surprising: American population growth is faster in the South and West, as it has been for decades.  In the U.S. House and the Electoral College, this growth makes the reallocation of seats every 10 years a zero-sum […]

Getaway Day in the House

, Managing Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

Prior to Tuesday, only six members of the House were retiring from the House. That does not include members who are running for other offices or who have resigned — rather, it’s just members who are really walking away from politics at the end of this Congress. Among those six, none were Democrats. Going back […]

A December Freeze?

In race for Congress, it’s wait and see

, Managing Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

With Christmas and New Year’s less than two weeks away, the political doldrums might finally be upon us. Tuesday saw President Obama attend the funeral for legendary South African President Nelson Mandela, producing stories about him shaking hands with Cuban dictator Raul Castro and the look on Michelle Obama’s face as her husband took a […]

The Surprisingly Dramatic Terry & Ken Show

Plus: The nuclear option Cuccinelli considered using against Bob McDonnell & other tidbits from Election Night 2013

A year ago, almost everyone who followed Virginia politics thought that Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) had the inside track to winning the governorship. After all, it was in the 1880s when Virginia last gave a party just four consecutive years in the Governor’s Mansion. And Cuccinelli held one of the two positions that have […]

Five Days to Go in Virginia

, Associate Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

Late last Thursday afternoon — after the publication of last week’s Crystal Ball — we revised our ratings of the three statewide races in Virginia. Terry McAuliffe (D) is now a solid favorite to win the governorship over Ken Cuccinelli (R), and we now rate that race as Likely Democratic. Meanwhile, Ralph Northam (D) is […]

After the Shutdown, Republicans Sort Through the Wreckage

Democratic prospects improve in House and Senate

, Sabato's Crystal Ball

We’ll save our Republican friends a recitation of all the damage they did to themselves during the recent battle over the government shutdown and the debt limit. Anyone who can read a poll knows what happened. The shutdown kerfuffle has led to a significant improvement in the national political climate for Democrats. The House generic […]

How 2014′S Gubernatorial Races Affect the Next House Map

Control of the U.S. House of Representatives may not be at stake in 2014, if our recent analysis is correct, but control of the House in 2022 could be. What’s that you say? It’s simple electoral math. Many of the governors being elected or reelected in 2014 may still be in office after the next […]

House Update: Running to Stand Still

A battlefield defined by stalemate waits for a big nudge

, Managing Editor, Sabato's Crystal Ball

We are making many changes to the Crystal Ball’s U.S. House ratings, but the overall picture in the People’s House remains quite clear: Neither Republicans nor Democrats are positioned to make major gains in the House next year. Republicans are slightly likelier to net a tiny gain than Democrats are. Ergo, the Republican majority in […]