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...

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...

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...

The Democrats Descend on Ohio

But will they next year?

But will they next year?

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- As the Democrats debate in Ohio, questions loom about how important the state will be in next year’s presidential election. -- Two key demographic indicators help explain why the state swung toward the Republicans in 2016 and why it seems likely to again vote...

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...

The Electoral College: It Doesn’t Always Lean Toward Republicans

Reform efforts face long odds, and such reforms might not necessarily help Democrats in the long run

Reform efforts face long odds, and such reforms might not necessarily help Democrats in the long run

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- Proposals to abolish the Electoral College, whether through a constitutional amendment or through the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, face an uphill climb. -- Historically, the Electoral College has not given the Republicans a consistent advantage in presidential elections, but one may develop in...

The Senate: Ratings Changes and the Shadow of Impeachment

If there’s a trial in the upper chamber, who might feel the heat?

If there’s a trial in the upper chamber, who might feel the heat?

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- Nationalization is an increasingly important trend in American election outcomes. It’s hard to think of a more nationalizing issue than a presidential impeachment. -- Vulnerable members on both sides in the Senate will have a lot to consider if and when they have to...

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...

2020 Primary and Caucus Cancellations Through the Lens of Recent History

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- Republicans in several states have canceled primaries and caucuses in 2020 as President Trump seeks renomination. -- To be sure, the Trump campaign and various state GOP organizations are working to smooth the president’s path to renomination and attempting to reduce any divisiveness within...

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 Electoral College: Expanding the Map

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- We don’t really think President Trump can win New Mexico, where he campaigned earlier this week. But he’s wise to try to expand the map. -- While presidents who lose reelection historically don’t win states they didn’t carry in their earlier victories, presidents who...