The Battle for State Legislatures

Looking for competition in sorted statehouses

Dear Readers: Crystal Ball Senior Columnist Louis Jacobson is analyzing several categories of state-level races for us this cycle. After taking a first look at attorney general and secretary of state races, he is now assessing the battles for state legislatures this year. The Republicans have built a robust edge...

Notes on the State of Politics: May 18, 2022

Pennsylvania governor moves to Leans Democratic following primary; other reactions to Tuesday night’s results

Dear Readers: This is the latest edition of Notes on the State of Politics, which features short updates on elections and politics. -- The Editors KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- The race for the Pennsylvania Republican Senate nomination remains uncalled, and it will remain a Toss-up in our ratings...

The Kinds of Seats that Flip in Midterms

Looking back on past recent waves to assess Republicans’ potential in November

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- While increasingly salient issues like abortion could change the political environment, Republicans still appear on track for a strong showing in the U.S. House. -- Recent midterms have hollowed out the presidential party’s holdings of districts where the president either did the same or...

Notes on the State of Politics: May 11, 2022

New York’s looming House specials; a nationalized West Virginia primary; Nebraska governor

Dear Readers: This is the latest edition of Notes on the State of Politics, which features short updates on elections and politics. -- The Editors New York: No map, but 2 special elections The last few months have not been especially kind to Gov. Kathy Hochul (D-NY). Shortly after she...

How Abortion Might Motivate or Persuade Voters in the Midterms

Project Home Fire data reveal partisan attitudes on abortion

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- The end of Roe vs. Wade could potentially give Democrats a better chance to motivate their own voters and/or persuade Republican-leaning swing voters. -- Public opinion on abortion is nuanced, although more are likelier to take the pro-abortion rights side on a couple of...

Notes on the State of Politics: May 5, 2022

Crystal Ball interns explore youth voting, felon disenfranchisement, civility in Congress

Dear Readers: We’re pleased to feature 3 items today from our Spring 2022 Crystal Ball interns: Sarah Pharr, Aviaé Gibson, and Alex Kellum. They write, respectively, on trends in youth voter turnout; the voter disenfranchisement of convicted felons; and the roots of the civility crisis in Congress. We thank them...

A Trump Bump for Vance

Key Ohio races remain rated Likely Republican following primary

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- It’s hard to quantify exactly what Donald Trump’s endorsement of J.D. Vance was worth in the Ohio GOP Senate primary, but Vance’s victory likely will reaffirm the belief among Republicans that Trump’s endorsement is very much worth having. -- Both the Ohio gubernatorial and...

Abortion Battlefields in a Potentially Post-Roe Political World

Watch these states in the event of a landmark Supreme Court decision later this year

Dear Readers: In light of a recent Politico article that features a leaked majority draft opinion from Justice Samuel Alito that would overturn the landmark Roe vs. Wade decision, we are re-running a March article from Crystal Ball Senior Columnist Lou Jacobson. We have made some minor updates to the article to account for a few new developments. In...

How Minority Parties (Might) Compete in One-Party States

Playing in other party’s primary or backing an independent candidate are two possible options

Dear Readers: The UVA Center for Politics is hosting a virtual event later today (Thursday, April 28) with the ambassadors to the United States from the Baltic states. Ambassadors Audra Plepytė of Lithuania, Kristjan Prikk of Estonia, and Māris Selga of Latvia will discuss their respective nations’ relationship with the...

Breaking Down the DeSantimander

New Florida map should allow Republicans to win 20 of 28 seats in nation’s third-largest state

Dear Readers: The UVA Center for Politics is hosting a virtual event on Thursday, April 28 with the ambassadors to the United States from the Baltic states. Ambassadors Audra Plepytė of Lithuania, Kristjan Prikk of Estonia, and Māris Selga of Latvia will discuss their respective nations’ relationship with the United States...

Notes on the State of the Senate

The overall picture for November, and the looming primaries in May

The small stuff versus the big stuff There is a push and pull in the race for control of the U.S. Senate between the big picture electoral environment, which clearly benefits Republicans, and the day-to-day developments on the campaign trail, which do not always clearly benefit Republicans. Examples of the...

House Rating Changes: 11 Moves, All in Favor of Republicans

Bigger picture coming a bit more into focus with redistricting nearly done

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- We are making 11 rating changes in the House this week, all in favor of Republicans. -- The bulk of these changes either move marginally competitive Republican-held seats to the Safe Republican category or move Democratic districts from Likely Democratic to the more competitive...

Trump-District House Democrats Could Become Extinct This November

How redistricting has altered the number of “crossover” districts

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- The number of “crossover” districts -- those won by different parties for president and House -- has generally been declining over time. -- Under the current congressional district lines, there were only 16 crossover districts in 2020, with Republicans winning 9 Biden-won seats and...

Are Democrats Headed for a Shellacking in the Midterm Election?

What the generic ballot model predicts

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- Presidential party midterm losses are a regular feature of American politics. -- President Biden’s numbers are weak as well. But it may be that Democrats are insulated in some ways from a potential “shellacking.” -- Democrats are very likely to lose their House majority,...

Sarah Palin’s Surprising and Possibly Historic Run for the House

How a victory would set her apart from other unsuccessful postwar VP candidates

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin surprised the political world when she announced a run to replace the late Don Young in Alaska’s at-large U.S. House seat. -- It’s not unusual for VP losers to subsequently win elected office, although in recent decades...