Getting Cartered

Like Jimmy Carter in 1980, Donald Trump has been dealt a challenging hand in his reelection year

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- President Trump’s approval numbers have remained steady or have even improved in the midst of the coronavirus crisis. -- That said, the potential threat that the combined health and economic crisis poses to his reelection odds is obvious. -- Trump may find himself in...

Turnout in the 2020 Democratic Primary: Some Clues for the Fall

In the primary, blue-trending areas see higher turnout, power Joe Biden's strength; erosion for Democrats continues in some rural areas in the South

Dear Readers: Next Thursday (April 2) from noon to 1 p.m. eastern, the Crystal Ball will be hosting a briefing to assess the state of play in the 2020 election via Zoom. Editor in Chief Larry J. Sabato, Managing Editor Kyle Kondik, and Associate Editor J. Miles Coleman will discuss...

The Cleaner “Smoke-Filled Room”

Dear Readers: We're pleased to welcome Gerald Pomper as a Crystal Ball contributor this week. Pomper is a widely-published and respected political scientist. In this piece, he explores how the Democratic Party's consolidation around Joe Biden is somewhat reminiscent of the old, insider-dominated method of selecting presidential nominees. Pomper is...

Democratic Delegate Count Update

The Crystal Ball and Decision Desk HQ have been calculating and tracking the Democratic pledged delegate allocations during the presidential primary season. Georgia’s presidential primary was originally scheduled for Tuesday but has been moved to May 19. That means there will be no new delegates up for grabs until Hawaii’s...

A Coronavirus Recession Could Doom Trump’s Reelection Chances

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- The coronavirus public health crisis likely will lead to an economic downturn of unknown length and severity. -- Historically, second-quarter GDP growth in the election year is an important variable in predicting how an incumbent president will perform in the fall. -- A recession...

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...

Democratic Voters Closing the Door on Sanders

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- Tuesday night’s primary results generally showed Joe Biden running stronger versus Bernie Sanders than Hillary Clinton did against Sanders four years ago. -- Biden won every single county in Michigan, Mississippi, and Missouri, and he performed more than well enough out West. -- Biden’s...

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...

For Biden, a Stunning Super Tuesday

Former VP sweeps South and moves North; Sanders has to rally in Midwest to avoid being swamped

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- That Joe Biden swept the South was not that big of a surprise; that he won states outside of it was. -- The overall delegate math is unclear and may very well have ended up close on Super Tuesday, but Bernie Sanders needed to...

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...

Biden’s Super Tuesday Test: Defending the South

Sanders vs. Biden may be determined by who breaks through on the other’s turf

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- Joe Biden’s victory in South Carolina re-established him as the main challenger to Bernie Sanders. -- There is some indication their battle could break on regional lines, with Sanders fighting for inroads in the South and Biden for access to the North. Biden’s task...

The Sanders Tax

How our Electoral College ratings might change
if he becomes the presumptive nominee

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- If Democrats nominated Bernie Sanders, they would, initially, start off with somewhat of a penalty in our Electoral College ratings. -- Sanders’ policy prescriptions and rhetoric may complicate Democratic prospects in the Sun Belt, where the party’s recent growth has been driven by highly-educated...