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...

Republicans Hunt for Safer Ground in Shifting Southern California

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- San Diego County, once a linchpin of the GOP’s Golden State coalition, now votes reliably Democratic, like most other counties with large populations. -- It’s rare that former members of Congress switch districts to primary incumbents, but political realignment in San Diego has facilitated...

NC-9: West to the Left, East to the Right

Dear Readers: We are delighted to welcome the newest member of the Crystal Ball and Center for Politics team, J. Miles Coleman, who started working with us on Monday. Many readers may already be familiar with Miles’ work on Twitter, where he has built a following thanks to his wonderful...

The House’s Republican Bias: Does it Exist?

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- Single-member districts, natural sorting, and gerrymandering are the origins of bias in the House of Representatives. -- One form of bias consistently helps House Republicans, vindicating liberal concerns of a structural imbalance. Another form of bias reliably benefits the party that wins control of...

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...