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...

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...

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...

Shades of Alabama in Louisiana’s Gubernatorial Runoff

The similarities between the Deep South Democratic victories by John Bel Edwards and Doug Jones

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- In his narrow reelection win on Saturday, Gov. John Bel Edwards (D-LA) replicated some of the voting patterns displayed in Sen. Doug Jones’ (D-AL) special election victory two years ago. -- Both Edwards and Jones won statewide races despite each carrying only a single...

In Close Runoff, Democrats Try to Finish Strong in Louisiana

And the presidential shades of Virginia’s state-level results last week

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- In advance of Saturday’s runoff gubernatorial election in Louisiana, the data point to Gov. John Bel Edwards (D-LA) as a small favorite. -- We’re moving our rating there from Toss-up to Leans Democratic, but even if Edwards holds on, it may not be by...

Election 2019: Another Win for Democrats in Virginia Pushes State Further off the Competitive Map

Bevin blows it in Kentucky; Mississippi remains out of reach for Democrats; mixed signals confirm larger trends

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- Virginia moves from Leans Democratic to Likely Democratic in our Electoral College ratings in the wake of a fourth straight November that has broken in the Democrats’ favor. -- Gov. Matt Bevin’s (R) apparent loss in Kentucky is more of a personal repudiation of...

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...

Election 2019 Mega-Preview: Political Conformity Seeks Further Confirmation

Looking ahead to next week’s elections in Kentucky, Mississippi, New Jersey, and Virginia; House ratings changes

Dear Readers: As Virginians go to the polls next week, we wanted to recognize the late Gov. Gerald Baliles (D-VA), who passed away earlier this week. Baliles served as Virginia governor from 1986-1990 and, more recently, as director of the University of Virginia’s Miller Center. For more on his life...

Louisiana Governor: Nationalized Trends Emerge as Runoff Looms

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- As a result of Saturday’s jungle primary, the Crystal Ball has changed its rating for the Louisiana gubernatorial race to Toss-up from Leans Democratic. -- In a runoff against businessman Eddie Rispone (R), Gov. John Bel Edwards (D-LA) must turn out more black voters...

Louisiana 2019: Welcome to the Jungle (Primary)

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- Gov. John Bel Edwards (D-LA) defied the partisan lean of his state in 2015, but he will have to navigate an increasingly partisan electorate to win again. He’ll need Republican support, but he also must energize black voters. -- Louisiana’s unique jungle primary has...

Notes on the State of Politics

Debate effects can fade; Trump may be running behind his approval; the NC-9 special; a Magnolia runoff?

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- The polling effects from the first debate largely wore off by the time the second round started. -- In 2016, President Trump won some voters who otherwise did not like him, but there are some signs he isn’t benefiting from such a dynamic at...

Yes, Virginia, This is Chaos

Editor’s Note: This is a special edition of the Crystal Ball. Given the fast-moving developments in our home state over the last several days, we hope it’s not obsolete by the time you read it! We’ll be back with our regularly-scheduled issue next week on Thursday. Saying that anything in...

Governors 2019-2020: Democrats try to hold the line in red-state battles

Editor's Note: Last Thursday morning, the University of Virginia Center for Politics held its 20th annual American Democracy Conference in Washington, D.C. To watch a replay of the conference, visit our website. KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- Following the 2018 election, Republicans now control 27 governorships to the Democrats’...