Rating Changes: Electoral College and Senate

Democrats edge slightly ahead, but presidential race still a Toss-up; upper chamber battle gets closer; governors face what likely will be the biggest test of their tenures

Dear Readers: Please join Crystal Ball Editor in Chief Larry J. Sabato, Managing Editor Kyle Kondik, and Associate Editor J. Miles Coleman for a livestreamed assessment of the 2020 landscape from noon to 1 p.m. eastern today. The livestream will be available at: https://livestream.com/tavco/sabatoscrystalball and is free. We previously were...

Getting Cartered

Like Jimmy Carter in 1980, Donald Trump has been dealt a challenging hand in his reelection year

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- President Trump’s approval numbers have remained steady or have even improved in the midst of the coronavirus crisis. -- That said, the potential threat that the combined health and economic crisis poses to his reelection odds is obvious. -- Trump may find himself in...

The Iowa Chaos: A Preview of July?

Muddled, delayed, and confusing result could end up contributing to more of the same down the road

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- As of this writing, days after Iowa, the ultimate outcome there was still unclear. -- Joe Biden’s poor showing probably forecloses the possibility of him winning the nomination quickly. -- The odds of a rare, contested convention probably went up, although there’s still time...

Trump Holds Key to Republican House Chances

GOP banks on nationalization; 16 ratings changes

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- Democrats remain favored to hold the House, but it’s not hard to imagine what the GOP’s path to the majority would be. -- Trump is crucial to that path: A highly-nationalized presidential election that devastates the roster of Democrats in Trump-won and marginal Clinton-won...

Republican Edge in Electoral College Tie Endures

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- If no candidate gets to 270 Electoral College votes, the U.S. House of Representatives would pick the next president. -- The House has not had to pick a president in nearly two centuries. In the event of such a tiebreaking vote, each state’s U.S....

2019: The Year of Stability

Big events of the year, including impeachment, don’t materially change the odds in races for president, Congress

Dear Readers: The Crystal Ball will be away for the holidays next week. Our next issue will come out on Thursday, Jan. 2. We wish all of our readers Happy Holidays. -- The Editors KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- Impeachment is an unusual occurrence marked by usual partisanship. It...

The Democratic Race: Biden 2020 as Romney 2012

As one shaky frontrunner endures, we’re reminded of another from the recent past

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- Biden’s endurance at the top of the Democratic race is reminiscent of Mitt Romney’s endurance in the 2012 Republican race. -- Despite considerable liabilities, Romney benefited -- and Biden benefits -- from splintered opposition and being the best fit for a significant bloc of...

2020 House: Assessing the Open Seats So Far

Openings won’t match the volume of 2018, but Democrats may once again benefit more than Republicans

Dear Readers: The Crystal Ball will be away next week. Our next issue will be released on Thursday, Dec. 5. We wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving. -- The Editors KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- Of 28 open House seats, Republicans are defending 20 while Democrats are defending...

The Governors: Party Control Now Near Parity

GOP holds slim edge, but more Americans live under Democratic governors; crossover governors obscure stronger partisan alignment below the top ballot line

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- Following the 2019 elections, Republicans retain a narrow 26-24 edge in governorships. -- But that’s a big shift from mid-2017, when Democrats held just 15. -- Gubernatorial races are likelier to defy federal partisanship than House and Senate races. The gubernatorial scorecard The Louisiana...

The Democrats Descend on Ohio

But will they next year?

But will they next year?

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- As the Democrats debate in Ohio, questions loom about how important the state will be in next year’s presidential election. -- Two key demographic indicators help explain why the state swung toward the Republicans in 2016 and why it seems likely to again vote...

The Senate: Ratings Changes and the Shadow of Impeachment

If there’s a trial in the upper chamber, who might feel the heat?

If there’s a trial in the upper chamber, who might feel the heat?

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- Nationalization is an increasingly important trend in American election outcomes. It’s hard to think of a more nationalizing issue than a presidential impeachment. -- Vulnerable members on both sides in the Senate will have a lot to consider if and when they have to...

The Electoral College: Expanding the Map

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- We don’t really think President Trump can win New Mexico, where he campaigned earlier this week. But he’s wise to try to expand the map. -- While presidents who lose reelection historically don’t win states they didn’t carry in their earlier victories, presidents who...

Biden’s challenge: Iowa and New Hampshire

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- Perhaps the biggest threat to Joe Biden is the nominating calendar. -- Biden is reliant on support from African Americans, but the electorates of the first two states, Iowa and New Hampshire, are almost entirely white. -- However, even if one or more of...