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...

Notes on the State of Politics

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- The Democratic primary race has been very stable, with the biggest exception being Elizabeth Warren’s rise to become one of the clear frontrunners. -- Donald Trump is attracting primary challengers, but his standing within the GOP remains strong. -- Sen. Johnny Isakson's (R-GA) pending...

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...

The 2020 Congressional Elections: A Very Early Forecast

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- A forecasting model based on postwar electoral history along with the president's approval rating and the House generic ballot points to Democratic gains next fall. -- The model's projection won't be finalized until late next summer and will be based on whatever the president's...

2020 Redistricting: An Early Look

GOP retains edge, but perhaps not as sharp of one as it had following 2010

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- The Supreme Court’s recent decision to stay out of adjudicating gerrymandering doesn’t necessarily change anything because the court had never put limits on partisan redistricting in the first place. -- Republicans are still slated to control the drawing of many more districts than Democrats...

Notes on the State of Politics

Farewell Ross Perot; Senate races on the fringe of the competitive map; the curious case of Justin Amash

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- Ross Perot, who died earlier this week, provided something of a template for Donald Trump. He also was the best-performing third-party presidential candidate since Teddy Roosevelt in 1912. -- They are not top-tier races, but there have been noteworthy Senate developments on the outer...

The Shadow of 1998

Revisiting and reassessing the GOP’s poor showing and the role of impeachment in the result

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- The 1998 election has invariably come up a lot as House Democrats consider whether to impeach President Donald Trump. -- That’s because Republicans had high expectations for that election but ended up flopping. -- While impeachment probably did hurt the Republicans in some districts,...

House 2020: Incumbents Hardly Ever Lose Primaries

But that doesn’t mean every single one is safe

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- Incumbent House members hardly ever lose primaries. In the post-World War II era, more than 98% of House members who have run for reelection have been renominated by their own parties. -- However, even such a lofty renomination rate suggests that a few House...

The Seats/Votes Relationship in the U.S. House 1972-2018

With big national win, Democrats in 2018 overcame GOP bias from earlier in decade

Editor’s Note: This is an updated version of a story we previously published in June 2015 and January 2017 looking at the national House vote. KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- After adjusting the results for uncontested races, Democrats won the national House popular vote by about seven percentage points last fall....

The Year of the Green Wave

How Democratic House fundraising spiked in 2018

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- Democratic newcomer candidates spent far more money than in previous cycles, while Republicans' spending numbers stayed stagnant. -- Female candidates enjoyed a cash advantage over male candidates, with an especially large gap among Democrats in open competitive seats. --There has been no observable advantage...

2020 Electoral College: Why the Republicans’ magic number is probably 269, not 270

Despite Democratic takeover, Republicans still hold an edge if the House has to pick the president

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- There is at least one plausible Electoral College scenario that produces a 269-269 tie, which would throw the presidential election to the House of Representatives elected in 2020. -- If the House decides the presidency, you might think that Democrats would have the advantage,...