The Future Shape of the Senate

How 2020 sets up 2022 and 2024

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- The Constitution divides the Senate into three “classes” that face the voters on six-year cycles. Under today’s political dynamics, the class that faced the voters in 2018 was favorable to the Republicans, while the class that faces the voters in 2020 is favorable to...

The Rise of Ranked-Choice Voting

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- 2020 has been a banner year for ranked-choice voting. -- Several Democratic primary and caucus contests used the system, which asks voters to rank their choice and forces winners to achieve majority support, albeit through votes from those who did not pick them first...

One-Party Dominance Extends to Statewide Elected Offices

Up-and-coming candidates from the wrong party in one-party states, like Pete Buttigieg, don't have much practical chance for statewide advancement

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- For talented young political prospects who belong to the minority party in states dominated by one party, the path to statewide advancement is rocky. -- In 34 of the 50 states, a single party controls all of the statewide elected offices. -- Only four...

Trump Not Immune to the Usual Down-Ballot Presidential Penalty

But the Senate remains a bright spot for Republicans amidst decline elsewhere

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- After just three years in the White House, Donald Trump is seeing a significant erosion of down-ballot seats held by his party. -- This erosion puts Trump in good company -- at least since World War II, presidents typically experience at least some erosion...

Markey vs. Kennedy: Welcome to the most unusual Senate primary in decades

Over the past quarter century, there hasn't been another Senate primary challenge quite like it

KEY TAKEAWAYS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) is facing a strong primary challenge from Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D, MA-4) in 2020. While challenges to entrenched incumbent senators aren’t an everyday occurrence, the Markey-Kennedy race is especially unusual in recent Senate history -- Most senators who attract...

Outside of D.C., Governors Remain Popular in the States

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- Even as public approval of President Trump and Congress remain in the basement, 50-state opinion polling shows that Americans as a whole are pretty enamored of their governors. -- In fact, 47 of the nation’s 50 governors are outperforming Trump in their states, and...

The Trade War’s Risks for Trump

Agriculture and manufacturing are significant industries in 2020’s most important states

Dear Readers: We’re pleased this week to welcome Louis Jacobson to the Crystal Ball team. Jacobson, a veteran political journalist and analyst, is joining the Crystal Ball as a Senior Columnist and will be writing monthly columns for us on state-level politics. In his debut column, Jacobson takes a look...