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...

Danger Signs Abound for Sanders in Michigan — and Elsewhere

He will have to beat the polls once again, but he may have benefited from an anti-Clinton vote not present this time

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- Ahead of several delegate-rich contests this month, both national and state-level polls suggest that Joe Biden is solidifying his lead over Bernie Sanders. -- Though a handful of states will be voting tomorrow, Michigan, given its significance in the 2016 primary, will be a...

Texas: Welcome to the Rodeo

A closer look at the biggest up-for-grabs state today

Dear Readers: We’re pleased to welcome two young analysts for their Crystal Ball debuts today as we publish a bonus issue that provides an additional preview of Super Tuesday (we also looked at the battlefield yesterday). First, Katherine Clement breaks down the Texas primary, and then Niles Francis assesses two...

Super Tuesday Down the Ballot: AL-SEN & CA-25

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- In Alabama, the three-way Republican primary for Senate will be one of Super Tuesday's marquee primaries; former Attorney General Jeff Sessions and former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville are polling competitively, though Rep Bradley Byrne (R, AL-1) is also a serious candidate. -- Regardless...

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...

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...

In the South, Congressional Black Caucus Members Win Uncommon Crossover

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- Across the South, some members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) overperform the presidential lean of their districts. -- Incumbents like G.K. Butterfield (D, NC-1), Sanford Bishop (D, GA-2), and Jim Clyburn (D, SC-6) show that incumbents who fit their districts can build durable...

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...

Wisconsin: 2020’s Ground Zero

A closer look at the state that may once again decide the presidency; GOP narrowly favored in NJ-2 following Van Drew party switch

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- A perpetual swing state, Wisconsin seems poised to play a pivotal role in next year’s presidential election. Milwaukee will be especially prominent as the host of the 2020 Democratic National Convention. -- With a special election in Wisconsin’s 7th District on the horizon, we...

Handicapping North Carolina’s New Districts

Democrats likely to net two seats

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- With a new congressional map in place, Democrats seem poised to flip two seats in the Tar Heel State, one in the Raleigh area and another in the Greensboro area. -- Since his election in 2014, Rep. Mark Walker (R, NC-6) has quickly climbed...

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...

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...

Up-Ballot Effects: Expanding the Electoral College Battleground

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- A presidential campaign strategy narrowly focused on Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan might work for the Electoral College but could hurt a candidate’s party in down-ballot Senate and House races. -- Senate and House battlegrounds are scattered across the Rust Belt and Sun Belt, which...